Beloved Former Rochester Mayor Hazama Has Died
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Former Rochester Mayor Chuck Hazama has died.
Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home in Rochester today announced that Hazama passed away on Sunday. He was 89 years old.
Hazama was first elected as the city's Mayor in 1979 and served 8 two-year terms until he stepped down at the end of 1995. He was heavily involved in efforts to obtain funding for the city's massive flood control project and helped orchestrate a revitalization of downtown Rochester in the 1980s. His tenure in office also included celebrating Rochester being named the Number One Place to Live in the U.S. by Money Magazine in 1993.
Prior to becoming Mayor, Hazama became well-known in the city as the local YMCA executive director.
While serving as Mayor, Hazama was a beloved regular on News Talk 1340 KROC-AM. His monthly or more visits to the studio also included his favorite Hawaiian blend of coffee and plenty of pastries from the Gingerbread House to share with other guests and the radio station employees.
After leaving office, Hazama split his time between Rochester and his home state of Hawaii, where he often hosted visitors from Rochester at his house on Maui. He remained heavily involved in Rochester community events, particularly Rochesterfest until health issues pushed Hazama to the sidelines in recent years.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
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