Lee B. Hawes of Redding, veteran, educator, writer and civic activist, died on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. Mr. Hawes, 88, was the husband of 60 years of Marie Supple Hawes. He had lived in Redding for 48 years.
He was born in Providence, R.I., Feb. 26, 1924. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama and a master’s degree from New University. He received his teaching certification from Western Connecticut State University in 1954.
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 lwo Jima and Okinawa. Mr. 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.
As an educator Mr. Hawes worked in the Westport school system as both a teacher and administrator. He also spent two years in Kaiserslautem, 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. He was a life member of the National Association of Education and the Connecticut Educational Association.
Active in community affairs, he served on both the Parks and Recreation Commission and the Commission for the Elderly [now the Commission on Aging]. He was also 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 that 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.
Before entering the field of education, Mr. Hawes had served as a cub reporter at the New Haven Register. In retirement he wrote numerous “Reflections” articles for The Redding Pilot and the Forum on Faith column in the Danbury News Times. A member of the Congregational Church in Redding, Mr. 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.
Besides his wife Marie, Mr. Hawes is survived by 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, NC., 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 Hwy., Redding, CT 06896 or to The Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Ave., Montgomery, AL 36104.