D-backs remember Nicole Hazen

August 8th, 2022

D-backs general manager Mike Hazen and his family have been grateful for the love and support they've received since the passing of Mike's wife, Nicole.

Nicole Hazen, a devoted wife, mother, daughter and sister, as well as an accomplished teacher, died Thursday following a courageous two-year and four-month battle with glioblastoma. She was 45 years old.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Nicole Hazen Fund For Hope through the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation to help those in the fight against glioblastoma.

The Nicole Hazen Fund For Hope will offer more patients with aggressive brain tumors access to rapid, state-of-the-art treatment as well as compassionate support throughout the entire journey.

A native of Cleveland, Hazen passed away in Phoenix, where she lived with Mike and their four sons.

“Nicole lived her life and loved her family with fierceness and devotion,” Mike said. “She spent every day in the service of others as a mother, wife and educator advocating for goodness.”

Nicole Marie Ferrara was born on Jan. 4, 1977, to Phylis (Farinacci) Ferrara and Rick Ferrara. Upon graduating high school from Gilmour Academy, she attended John Carroll University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in English and her teaching certificate. She earned her master’s degree in special education from Notre Dame College of Ohio.

Following her graduation from college, Hazen taught special education and seventh-grade English. She met Mike when he was working as the Cleveland Indians’ assistant farm director on Jan. 19, 2002. The couple dated for two years before marrying in 2004. They celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary shortly before her passing.

In October 2005, in Cleveland, they welcomed their first child, Charlie, at University Hospital under emergency C-section, where Nicole and Mike were still undecided on a name, Nicole asked, “Does he look like a Charlie or a John?” They chose Charlie, but they went on to have their John and their Teddy and their Sam at the Brigham in Boston. If left up to Nicole, they would have had a fifth or sixth but they ultimately decided they were overmatched.

The boys were the center of her universe and she was their biggest supporter in their academic and athletic endeavors. She was a baseball lifer, first with the Indians and then with the Red Sox, where the family celebrated World Championships in 2007 and 2013. And finally, with the Diamondbacks, in 2017, where she critiqued every trade and celebrated every win.

More recently, Nicole began working as an English teacher at St. Francis Xavier School, a vocation that she loved. Nicole remained devoted to her students even during her early diagnosis of glioblastoma, where she taught love, empathy and perseverance in the face of insurmountable odds.

Nicole loved to cook and enjoyed hosting friends and family. She loved blasting Bruno Mars, New Kids On The Block and Chris Stapleton. Nicole and Sam sang the "Hamilton" soundtrack together for months in the car. While an avid fan of all things Disney, nothing made her happier than her annual extended-family trip to Traverse City, Mich., where her sons spent her final days with family, fishing, tubing and eating pasta. Just like Mom wanted.

Nicole was preceded in death by her father, Rick. In addition to Mike and her four sons, she is survived by her mother, Phylis, her brother, Rick, and several aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.