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1920 - 2020
HAWKER, KATHLEEN (KITTY) ELIZABETH (nee HARE) July 25, 1920 – February 9, 2020 Kitty passed away a few months shy of her 100th birthday, at the Veteran's Wing of Sunnybrook Hospital, where she has lived happily for the past decade. Kitty was a pioneer who lived her life with passion and purpose. She couldn't sit still. She threw herself into everything she did completely. She proudly served in the Canadian Air Force Women's Division in WWII. She married at 36, and had her children into her early forties. She was a lifelong volunteer and donor to the Canadian Red Cross. She took in "unwed mothers" during their pregnancies so they would be "out of sight" of their friends and family. She fostered the development of a home for women who had experienced domestic violence and she and Dad went to live with them to provide hands on support. Kitty loved people and had an enormous collection of close friends. She was an amazing chef, cooking up incredible international fare well before it was fashionable. She loved to entertain and gave the most glamorous parties. She loved to learn and to teach. When the youngest of her three children went off to school, she did too, garnering a teaching degree at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. She subsequently taught English at Thornhill Secondary School for many years. During the summers off, she pursued her Master's degree in English. She loved teaching – she talked about her students endlessly. She loved words – literature, a good game of Scrabble and in the end, her word search books. Predeceased by her loving husband, Clifford, and her sister, Eleanor, Kitty leaves behind her three children, Susan (Greg), Gillian (Marty) and Michael, her grandchildren, Stephanie (Tom), Rebecca and Leanne, Sam, Rebecca and Noah, and her great-grandchildren, Layla and Zoe. Special thanks to a few individuals who touched her life over the years, bringing periods of great happiness: nieces Elizabeth, Anne and Margaret; dear friends Martha and Jerry; the Clergy at St. James Cathedral; Lydia Serrano, her advocate and supporter, without whom we would have been lost; and the outstanding Veteran's Wing staff, especially Nora, Lorna, Han, Amanda, Mario and Dr. Chu, for their compassionate care over many years. Your kindness has ensured that her final years have been filled with joy and contentment. A celebration of Kitty's life will be held at a future time. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in her honour to the Canadian Red Cross or your charity of choice.
Published in the Toronto Star on Feb. 12, 2020
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