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Hobbyist to Entrepreneur: Hazel Sigafoose Hester

Name:
Hazel Sigafoose Hester
Transportation Mode:
Aviation
Era:
Post-1920s
Gender:
Female

 

Hazel Sigafoose was born to fly.  She took her first airplane ride with Charles Lindbergh when she was three months old.  Born and raised in Grinnell, Hazel married Glen Sigafoose in 1943.  They lived in Montezuma, Iowa where both worked at the Montezuma Republican.  Being an adventurous couple, they opened an Indian motorcycle shop. 

While in the motorcycle business, Hazel and Glen built model airplanes as a hobby.   The Korean Conflict cut short their supply of aluminum completely, causing them to close the motorcycle shop.  They begin selling balsa wood to other model makers around the country.  This little company grew into the Sig Manufacturing Company, selling remote-controlled kits and supplies to model builders worldwide.  Sig Manufacturing still operates out of Montezuma, Iowa today but with another owner.

Hazel learned to fly in 1958, flying aerobatic shows with Glen until 1980 when Glen was killed performing in an aerobatic show.   Hazel still flies her clipped-wing Cub and the single-place, tail-dragger Space Walker which she helped to build with her second husband, Maxey Hester.

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