Ruth Evelyn Hawhee (nee) Cook
Ruth Evelyn Hawhee (nee Cook), of Cantril, passed away Nov. 13, 2019, at the Van Buren County Hospital in Keosauqua. In hospice care since August, she had been able to remain in her own home until shortly before her passing.
Ruth was born Feb. 23, 1933, to Ida Mae (nee Pratt) and Jasper Ward Cook, and grew up with her older brothers Charles and Cecil on the family farm in Ludlow township near Waukon, Iowa. She attended one-room country schools through eighth grade, and graduated from Waukon High School in 1950. She attended Iowa State Teachers College (now UNI) in Cedar Falls, graduating with a teaching certificate in the spring of 1952. On June 11, 1952, Ruth married S. Gale Hawhee, who was eventually ordained a United Methodist minister. They were married for 47 years, serving parishes in eight Iowa communities, beginning with Elma in Howard County where Ruth also taught sixth grade for two years. Other assignments included Randalia in Fayette County, Merrill, Ocheyedan, Garner, Corydon, Salem-Cedar Rapids and Keosauqua, before retirement to Cantril in 1995. The couple had four children: Howard (b. 1953), Betty (b. 1956), Jerry (b. 1958) and Steve (b. 1962).
Ruth was preceded in death by her parents; by her husband, Gale; her brother, Charles; and by her youngest son, Steve.
She is survived by her children, Howard Hawhee (Pflugerville, Texas), Jerry Hawhee (Cantril, Iowa), Betty Young (Ames, Iowa); and by her grandchildren, Angie (nee Young) and Phil Leake (Des Moines), and Keri Hawhee and Adam Hawhee (both of Omaha); and her three great-grandchildren, Faith, Katie and Nicholas Leake.
Ruth once remarked, "I pretty much enjoyed life, and the people we met in our churches." She excelled in her roles as teacher, minister's wife and mother, and learned much from the many people whose lives she touched over the years. She enjoyed quilting and sewing, gardening, camping, bird-watching, reading and old movies. She was active in United Methodist Women, church circles, the Walk to Emmaus retreats, and many charitable and community projects. She was an accomplished cook and was well-known for her bread and other baked goodies, ever abundant, especially at Christmas time; her doughnuts were always in high demand and often were runaway best sellers at church auctions. Ruth's was a busy, full life, well and selflessly lived.
A memorial service in Ruth's honor will be held at
11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, at the Cantril United Methodist Church with the Rev. Donna Olinger officiating. Inurnment will follow the service in Maple Grove Cemetery in Cantril, Iowa.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions made be made to Heifer International and can be mailed c/o Jerry Hawhee, P.O. Box 233, Cantril, IA 52542.
Online condolences may be directed to www.pedrickfuneralhome.com.