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Hazel Marie Cichowski

Setember 28, 1910


November 23, 2013

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Hazel Marie (Attenborough) Cichowski

Born September 28,1910


"Things come along; all you do is face them."

Hazel Cichowski, September 28, 2010
Hazel Cichowski, September 28,2010

I have known Hazel for a number of years. She is a life-long resident of Pittsburgh, PA. At right she is posed with her birthday banana split, which she chose in lieu of a cake.

She spent over 40 years working for the William Penn Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh. On her 99th birthday, the hotel staff "comped" her overnight in the Presidential Suite, with champagne, room service and other privileges. It was the first time she had ever stayed overnight at the hotel.

She is a male magnet and tireless shopper, fueled by an occasional fish sandwich and a Coors Light. The sign on the table in no way describes her personality.

I asked Hazel to write down her impressions and recollections of the first aircraft she ever saw. I received this handwritten note from her.

After Charles Lindbergh's trans-Atlantic flight in May, 1927, he went on a round-the-country tour. He visited all 48 states. Pittsburgh and Tucson were two of his stops. Please direct your browser to his link, and to NX-211, the "Spirit of St. Louis," for additional information about Lindbergh's tour, including motion picture footage.

Lindbergh didn't know it, but he crossed Hazel's path in Pittsburgh.


Hazel Attenborough Cichowski, September 2011



Your Webmaster with Hazel, Age 101

UPDATE September, 2011: Hazel turned 101 this month.

What do you give a vivacious 101 year-old woman, left and right, who has been comped in the Presidential Suite at age 99? The answer is her genealogy. Her granddaughter developed the Attenborough side of her family back to to the mid-1700s in Nottingham, England.


UPDATE September 15, 2012: Hazel turned 102 this month and I bought her dinner. I asked her the secret to living long. She replied, "I'm not a good example." When talking about her diet growing up, it was mostly coffee and donuts for breakfast. Even today she removes the lettuce and tomato from her sandwiches. "I don't eat salad," she said.

As a school girl she was given the nickname "Queenie" by her father. She played short stop for the girl's softball team, because she, "was fast." Below, a photograph of her southside (Pittsburgh, PA) softball team, the "Armstrong Pirates." Queenie is at center, rear.

Hazel Cichowski With Southside Pittsburgh (PA) "Armstrong Pirates," Ca. Mid-1920s (Source: Family)

I asked her about coping with life. She said, "Things come along; all you do is face them." When we parted she said, "Glad we could visit and you could pay the bill."


UPDATE September 25, 2013: One of the life choices that has bugged Hazel for a LONG time is the decision to leave high school in the 11th grade (1926) to go to work to support her family. She never received a diploma ... until this year.

Below is a photograph of her granddaughter and Hazel shortly after she was conferred her honorary high school diploma on September 25 at the City of Pittsburgh Board of Education Meeting (Board members applaud in the background).

Hazel Cichowski, 103 Year-Old High School Graduate, September 25, 2013 (Source: Family)

Hazel took the time to speak her thanks to those assembled ("Thanks. Now I'll be able to get a better job"), and to shake each Board Member's hand.

Hazel After Our Lunch on September 22, 2013 (Source: Webmaster)


The diploma came complete with her 1926 "yearbook" that was researched by her grand daughter and compiled at the Heinz History Center (HHC) in Pittsburgh. HHC maintains all the historic yearbook and grading information for Pittsburgh students. It also maintains archives on local and regional pilots. See for example, Clifford Ball at the Pitcairn Field Register Web site.

Congratulations, Hazel, and good luck in college next year.



Hazel M. Cichowski, Obituary, November 25, 2013 (Source: PTR)
Hazel M. Cichowski, Obituary, November 25, 2013 (Source: PTR)


UPDATE December 11, 2013 Alas, Hazel will not attend college. She passed away "peacefully" at age 103 on November 23, 2013.

At left is her obituary as it appeared in the Pittsburgh (PA) Tribune-Review (PTR). She will be missed by everyone: your Webmaster, her family, her bingo partners and the many people she touched in her last decade who marveled at her outgoing personality and stamina.







NC86500 Aloft (Source: Web)
NC86500 Aloft (Source: Web)

Interestingly, besides her connection to Charles Lindbergh, above, it was discovered after her passing, in a box of personal photographs, that she had a connection as well with an historic aircraft of another era.

The only aviation-related photograph found among Hazel's albums is the one below taken in Los Angeles, CA circa 1950. Hazel, at center rear, stands in front of Lockheed Constellation NC86500 (shown aloft, above).

The registration number is clearly readable under the port wing in the original snapshot. The light band at right is a film developing artifact. As far as is known, she flew in this aircraft in one or more of her flight legs between Pittsburgh and Los Angeles.

Hazel Cichowski, Center, Rear, With Lockheed Constellation NC86500, 1950 (Source: Family)

NC86500 was the first ever Constellation to visit Kansas City, the home base of TWA. NC86500 was named the “Star of the Mediterranean.” It was a L-049 model, which was delivered to Kansas City on November 15, 1945.


THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 11/22/10 REVISED: 10/09/13, 12/11/13 fin

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