Dick Hazeldene

DICK Hazeldene, the founder of one of Bendigo’s best known companies, has died at the age of 89.

Mr Hazeldene passed away on Tuesday, surrounded by family at the St John of God Hospital, after fighting a battle with illness.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Mavis, his children and their partners, Vicki and Peter, John and Glenda, and Peter, eight grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

The story of Hazeldene’s Chicken Farm’s growth into its modern day version started in Kangaroo Flat in the 1930s when Mr Hazeldene took on the job of caring for the chickens belonging to his brother Jack who went to serve as a pilot in World War II.

Jack didn’t return from war, and Mr Hazeldene made it his life work to grow the business.

Dick and Mavis married in 1951.

From Kangaroo Flat, they established free-range coops at Lockwood where the heart of the business remains and thrives today.

Hazeldene’s also remains a family business, despite its growing size and spread.

His family announced yesterday Mr Hazeldene’s funeral arrangements will be published at a later date, once they are finalised.