Myrtle Marie “Myrt” Hanzel

August 8, 1928 - July 31, 2020

Myrtle Marie “Myrt” Hanzel, age 91, of New Prague, died peacefully in the presence of her family on Friday, July 31, 2020 at Mala Strana Rehabilitation Center.  Myrt was born on August 8, 1928 in Derrynane Township, St. Thomas, MN to Thomas and Theresa (Reger) Retka.  She attended Country School District 107 one-room schoolhouse and graduated from New Prague High School.  After graduating, she traveled to St. Paul for the first time and lived with her aunt, Rose Retka, who helped her find employment and paid her tuition to Ancker Hospital in St. Paul, where she would learn x-ray technology, the career that would span her lifetime.  It was during this time also that Myrt developed her love for color, design, and beauty in home furnishings from employment in the beautiful homes that graced Grand Ave. in St. Paul.  She worked for a short time at Ancker Hospital until marrying the love of her life, Robert J. Hanzel, on May 26, 1951 at St. Thomas Catholic Church.  She worked at Queen of Peace Hospital in New Prague and when her first two children were babies, Myrt took them to work with her and the nuns babysat.  She finished her career at New Prague Medical Clinic.


Myrt was a woman of many talents and great humility.  Her Catholic faith was central in her life and radiated into every other aspect of life.  She was active at St. Wenceslaus Church, dedicated to pro-life, and a Queen of Peace auxiliary member.  She had a keen eye for all things beautiful.  She saw God’s intricate and colorful design in nature as a reflection of His great love for all people.  She was a meticulous and prayerful gardener.  She was a gifted seamstress, who not only made most of her children’s clothes but also designed and sewed her own wedding dress, using her mother’s dishes to design the scallops on the dress.  She dipped the lace for her dress in coffee in order to get just the right color hue to the lace.  She was also a gifted vocalist, possessing the range of an operatic soprano.  She was a soloist at the St. Paul Cathedral in her early years and sang daily at home, sometimes to the children’s dismay; when they tired of her singing and objected, Myrt would simply sing a little louder!  She passed on her legacy of music to her children and grandchildren and carried that love of music to her dying days.  She was a wonderful baker and cook, and her humility extended even to that area of life, as she was always sure to give full credit to the initiator of the recipe, never taking credit for it herself.  She was a charter member of her birthday club and thoroughly enjoyed the time spent with her women friends.  Had there been a shopping club, she perhaps would have been a charter member of that as well.  Myrt will be sadly missed by the family that was at the center of her life, her many friends, and all the nieces and nephews, each of whom she considered her favorite.


Myrt is survived by her faithful and loving husband, Bob; children, Rick (Judy) Hanzel, Anne Hanzel, Tom Hanzel, Mary Pat Carpentier, Beth (Pete) Giesen, David (Suzannah “Suki”) Hanzel, Gretchen “Gigi” (Jeff) Parks; 18 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; sister, Peggy (Dennis) Rosdahl; brother, Allan (Sandi) Retka; sister-in-law, Jean Retka.  She is preceded in death by her parents; her beloved Aunt Rose Retka; son-in-law, Kevin Carpentier; siblings, Luverne Retka, Vera Pauly, Russell Retka, Shirley Hickey.


Mass of Christian Burial will be held Tuesday, August 4, 2020 at 10 AM at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church with Father Eugene Theisen officiating.  Masks and social distancing are required for those in attendance.  Mass will be live-streamed on  Burial will follow at St. Wenceslaus Cemetery.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Teresa Sullivan
1 month ago

One of the sweetest cousins and thankful for her. Myrt, I remember as she waved with a twinkle in her eye saying “Have fun, girls!” I had forgotten a few of the aspects mentioned above, so it really helped bring back several memories. My sympathy for each of you. May our Queen of Peace comfort you softly, delicately. My prayers are with you.

Kitty McGuire Needham
1 month ago

Myrt was a beautiful person that we all admired. She was a dear cousin and faithful to my mom and they had many good times! Our sympathy to you all. I am sorry I missed the funeral as I just happened to check the Bruzek website and saw her photo this AM. Sending prayers.

Patti Straiton
2 months ago

Our thoughts and prayers are with you all! Sending you much love and peace!
Patti Straiton and Family

Theresa Slazinski
2 months ago

Myrt was such a lovely person! She attended my wedding almost 30 years ago and looking at the picture above–she still had that same beautiful smile. So sorry to hear about my mom’s cousin (Ann Walters)–so my cousin, once removed. Both mom and dad had so many great memories of her and family at the Minnesota annual family reunions.

Theresa and Walt Slazinski

Anne Thurston
2 months ago

I’m so sorry for your loss. I got to know your mom while she was in the Little Village and enjoyed visiting with her while I was visiting my dad. She was always so happy and loved getting to know everyone around her. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

Deb Busch
2 months ago

Our deepest sympathy to Bob and the entire Hanzel family. Myrt was always friendly and kind and had the most beautiful smile! You are all in our thoughts and prayers.
Ron snd Deb Busch

Marsha Topka
2 months ago

This is a lovely tribute to such a lovely woman. She was a lady with such style and grace. How blessed your family was to have had her in the center of your lives.

Rod & Mary Rehor
2 months ago

Bob and family, so sorry for your loss. Know that you are in our hearts and prayers.

Anne C Walters
2 months ago

What a wonderful blessing to have known this wonderful cousin! You have always and will forever have a special place in my heart. God bless the family!

2 months ago

Oh the genuine love…. //:0 //:0
I am forever grateful Myrt touched my life…
she knew the power of 3 Hail Marys a day and shared it with all…


JeNean Erickson
2 months ago

Anne, I am so saddened to learn of the passing of your dear, sweet Mom. What a ray of sunshine she was! Thoughts and prayers for you, your Dad, and the entire Hanzel family.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x