Thursday, October 18, 2012
Lee Hawes, 88
Lee Hawes, a former teacher in the Westport school system, writer and civic activist, died on Oct. 7. He was 88.
Lee Hawes: former Coleytown Elementary teacher. Contributed photo
A resident of Redding for 48 years, he was born in Providence, R.I., Feb. 26, 1924 and earned a B.A. degree from the University of Alabama and an M.A. degree from New York University.
He received his teaching certification from Western Connecticut State University in 1954 and soon after was employed as a teacher at the newly opened Coleytown Elementary School in Westport. He also served as an administrator in the Westport school system.
During World War II, he served as a signalman, receiving his training at the University of Chicago. He was awarded two Bronze Stars for participating in the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
Hawes served as a petty officer aboard the USS Sibley (APA 206). His naval squadron was the first to land occupation troops in Japan at the conclusion of the war. His ship also carried Associated Press photographer, Joe Rosenthal, who became famous for his historic picture of the flag raising atop Iwo Jima’s Mt. Suribachi.
He spent two years in Kaiserslautern, Germany where he taught in the Dependent Schools under the Department of Defense. While employed by the Westport Public School system, he worked as a part-time history instructor at the University of Bridgeport.
Hawes was a life member of the National Association of Education and the Connecticut Educational Association. Active in community affairs in Redding, he served on both the Parks and Recreation Commission and the Commission for the Elderly. He also was a member of the Democratic Town Committee.
For eight years, he was active as the Institutional Representative of the Boy Scouts of America. He was very proud of his service as president of the Association of Religious Communities (ARC), an ecumenical social service organization which served Danbury and surrounding towns.
In addition to these activities, he worked as the editor of the Connecticut United Nations Bulletin, Nutmeg in the World.
Prior to entering the field of education, Hawes had served as a cub reporter at the New Haven Register. In retirement he wrote numerous articles for the Redding Pilot and the Forum on Faith column in the Danbury News Times.
A member of the Congregational Church in Redding, Hawes was a deacon and was active on various committees involving the life of the church. He also sang in the choir as music was one of his great passions, both classical and jazz.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Marie Supple Hawes, a son, Lyle B. Hawes, and three daughters, Leslie Hine (husband Paul) of Southbury, Pamela Kohn (husband Kevin) of Newtown and Amy Spencer (husband Scott) of Winston Salem, N.C., as well as eight grandchildren.
There will be no calling hours. A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, Nov. 3 at the First Church of Christ Congregational in Redding at 2 p.m.
Contributions may be made to First Church of Christ Congregational, 25 Cross Highway. Redding, CT 06896 Or The Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Ave. Montgomery, AL 36104.
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Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport