Kathleen “Kate” Hawkins | The newspaper

Kathleen “Kate” Hawkins

Cedar Rapids

Kathleen “Kate” Hawkins, 88, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, died Thursday, October 13, 2022 at the Meth-Wick Community in Cedar Rapids, Iowa after a brave battle with dementia. Kate is finally at peace with her Lord. The memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 12 at 10 a.m. at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, 361 17th St. SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A private family celebration is held at Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery.

Kate was born on January 19, 1934 in Chicago, Illinois to Harold and Betty (Andrews) Foster. The family moved to a farm in northern Illinois in 1942. It had no electricity or water and a mile-long, muddy path. Kate rode three miles to a one-room country schoolhouse. She attended high school in Rockton, Illinois. She met her husband Lee Hawkins at Beloit College and they were united in marriage after graduation.

They lived in Chicago, where Lee attended University of Chicago medical school while Kate taught in Homewood, Illinois. The couple moved to Los Angeles, where Lee completed his internship at LA County Hospital, while Kate went to the University of Southern California. She received her master’s degree in education. They then moved to Iowa City, where Lee completed his residency in orthopedics and taught Kate at a school until the birth of their son, Leland Foster Hawkins. The couple next moved to Denver, Colorado, where Lee taught at the University of Colorado Medical School for seven years. Here their daughter Sarah Jane Hawkins was born. In 1973 they moved permanently to Cedar Rapids.

Kate’s faith played a key role in her life. She was a loving and active member of First Congregational UCC and two prayer groups, Joy Sisters and Sonshine. She believed in the power of prayer and prayed daily for many friends and family. She loved God and her family the most.

Kate’s family was another important part of her life. After Sarah’s first husband (Brian) died, Kate stepped in to be a pillar in Sarah’s family. During this difficult time and beyond, she spent afternoons playing outside, reading, and traveling with family. She also enjoyed spending time with Foster and his family in Marshalltown, Iowa. The family cabin in Georgetown, Colorado was one of her favorite places. She was known for getting up first thing in the morning and reading by the fire. She also had a reputation for being a card shark and proudly won often. She was so grateful for every memory created there with family and friends. You will also miss the hut and the mountains.

Kate was curious about everything that made her a lifelong learner. She loved taking auditing courses at Coe College and listening to Great Courses. Kate also made bold attempts at motorcycle and welding classes. In 2019, she released two books, Gifts in the Night, which contained stories she had been writing for years. She was delighted when Our Iowa Magazine published her written experience of buying part of her traditional family farm at auction.

She had such an adventurous and creative spirit. Kate was passionate about visual arts, public art and art history. Kate had a sea kayak she named Grace. She was still taking it out at 80. She enjoyed the civilian police academy, was an avid garage salesperson, cake decorator, stained glass artist, woodworker and traveller. Friends and family could feel her thoughtful attitude as Kate handed them a stack of the printed photos she had taken. And let’s not forget, she had a healthy sweet tooth and loved her tea with extra sugar!

She loved living in Cedar Rapids and was a very active participant in the community. Kate had a flea market, “Kate’s Sale,” every year for almost 40 years. She refined countless beautiful pieces of furniture. Their May Day coffees were an annual event benefiting the Linn County Food Bank. At these parties there were beautiful and delicious cookies and lots of friends all around. Kate was a big fan of her Mount Vernon Road Hy-Vee neighborhood, after a morning walk there she came home upbeat and positive. The staff there was like their second family, loved very much. Thank you to the Hy-Vee staff!!!

Kate is survived by their two children Leland (Nancy) Foster Hawkins of Denver, Colorado and Sarah (Mark) Benesh of Mount Vernon, Iowa; four grandchildren, McKenna (Max) Bernard, Thomas (Sydney) Bernard, Olivia Hawkins and Emily Benesh; sisters-in-law Elizabeth Dilibert of Somis, California and Adeline Sanford of San Diego, California; and loving family members and friends.

Her parents preceded her in death; husband Lee Hawkins; sister, Margaret “Peg” Foster, son-in-law, Brian Bernard; brother-in-law, John “Jack” Sanford; and brother-in-law, Joe Dilibert.

Kate’s family wants Dr. From the bottom of my heart, thank Mary Ann Nelson and her staff, as well as the staff of the Meth Wick community, for their tender and loving care for Kate.

Memorial donations can be made to Linn County Food Bank, Trees Forever and First Congregational Church UCC in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Online messages of condolences can be sent to the family at www.cedarmemorial.com under Obituaries.

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