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J. Argelia Hawley


1931 - 2019
J. Argelia Hawley Obituary

J. Argelia Hawley

June 4, 1931-July 19, 2019

ELDRIDGE-J. Argelia Hawley, 88, of Eldridge, died Friday, July 19, 2019 at Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House, Bettendorf.

A Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 at St. Ann Catholic Church, Long Grove. The family will greet friends Tuesday from 4 until 6 p.m. at church. Memorials may be made to University of Nebraska-Kearney UNK Fund or Global Giving, a fund designated for Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief. Halligan-McCabe-DeVries Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Juana Argelia Colón Benjamín Aponte was born on June 4, 1931, in Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico, a daughter of Catalina Benjamín Aponte and Miguel Colón Meléndez. She was one of the first international students at the former Nebraska State Teachers College at Kearney and was accepted as a pioneer who was setting the bar for the international students that would follow her. For this she was honored at her 50th class reunion. While at Kearney State she began a lifelong love affair with Donald C. Hawley, another student at the college. They were married in Arroyo, Puerto Rico, on April 14, 1953, while Donald was on leave from the Army and Argelia was home to be with her dying mother. They have shared over 66 years of marriage and memories together.

Argelia was a K-12 teacher throughout the country during her career, teaching primarily Home Economics and Spanish. Even after her retirement she continued teaching her grandchildren and neighborhood children the Spanish language. Mrs. and Dr. Hawley retired to Eldridge in 1998.

Argelia had a unique ability to bring people together by her actions. In high school she arranged a fashion show with Miss Puerto Rico involved to raise funds to keep her school open. While in Laramie, Wyoming, she noted the de facto segregation between students of Mexican descent and those of Nordic descent at sporting events and activities. She would get different groups to sit with her until all were sitting together. For her actions she was named an "Outstanding Young Woman of America."

Argelia had great taste and style. She loved being social, and would make sure her husband would accompany her to dances and social events and gatherings. She was also a world-class chef, improving on existing recipes as well as creating her own.

Those left to cherish her memory are her husband, Dr. Donald C. Hawley, Eldridge; their children: Catalina (Mike) Paar, Davenport, Carlos (Lourdes) Hawley, Fargo, North Dakota, Michael Hawley, and John (Kim) Hawley, all of Eldridge; grandchildren: Michael (Robin) Paar, John David (Jessica Willette) Paar, Mark Matthew (Callie) Paar, Mary Jo (Shane Miller) Paar, Teresa Paar, Carlos (Sheena) Hawley, Olivia (David) Farrell, Sam Hawley, Sofía Hawley, Alexandria Hawley and Victoria Hawley; and seven great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents and a sister, Nidia Carmen. May they rest in peace.

Online remembrances and condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting Mrs. Hawley's obituary at www.hmdfuneralhome.com

Published in Quad-City Times on July 21, 2019
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