On Tuesday, August 27, 2019, Jacqueline “Jackie” Elaine (Martin) Hawes passed away peacefully at the age of 89, surrounded by family at the Sussman House, in Rockport, Maine.
Jackie was born April 15, 1930, in Lewiston, Maine, to William and Juanita (Johnson) Martin. Jackie’s family spent her youngest years in Old Orchard Beach, until her mother moved back to Appleton with Jackie and her brother Allan, to the Johnson-Mitchell family farm, then run by Ivan and Irene Mink. Jackie told many stories of growing up with her brother and cousins on the farm overlooking Sennebec Lake, and of attending the Appleton school, with aunt Irene driving the bus the neighborhood kids dubbed “The Black Maria.” There was never a dull moment when growing up with the Mink cousins.
Jackie moved to Union when her mother married Schuyler Hawes, and they began a farm of their own. Jackie was thrilled to become a big sister again, to “Baby Lincoln,” followed by three sisters. She loved helping take care of her siblings, including in the kitchen, learning the traditional family recipes. This is where Jackie’s legendary cooking began. Baking powder biscuits, chocolate bread pudding, blueberry cake, and berry pies were family favorites through all her years. Even under her tutelage, no one could make biscuits like Jackie did.
Jackie married Howard Hawes in 1945 and moved to the Seven Tree Farm in Union, starting a family of her own. After they built their house at the farm and settled the family in, Jackie went to work at Goff’s Variety on Union Common. This became Jackie’s life-long career as they grew into Elmer’s Restaurant in 1961. Jackie became a mainstay for the Goff’s until they retired. Many people who worked at Elmer’s over the years also became close friends, and those friendships have endured to this day, long after Elmer’s closed. One such friend, Carol Scott, has been greatly appreciated, never forgetting a birthday or a holiday, and always sending a kind (and humorous) word through cards from every trip.
In her spare time, Jackie was also involved in many civic functions and community groups. She loved to tell of the days of the Musical Shows. Song, poetry and theater were always a favorite. She was part of the choir and sewed many robes for the Methodist Church in Union. She also helped with school plays and musicals. Many of Jackie’s activities were companion groups to Howard’s civic engagements. She was proud of her Red Cross training and volunteered on the Union Ambulance, took shifts with the town fire phone, and helped with the Ladies Auxiliary. She was a member of The Order of the Eastern Star in Union. Jackie enjoyed the days when Howard was in the Legislature, attending many of the events and functions.
Jackie had an adventurous side, flying in planes piloted by Howard, joining the snowmobile club and riding many hours with her friends. Jackie had a pretty red Moped for summer riding. She even tried her hand at skiing for a couple years at the Snow Bowl. Jackie was always up for a trip, and some of her treasured memories were from traveling around the country, camping in “The Titan,” and visiting her children and grandchildren who were living away. She went to Europe many times, and as an avid reader, she thoroughly enjoyed visiting places of significance in history, which had an impact on her life growing up.
Agricultural Fairs had a special role in Jackie’s life. Traveling with family showing cattle at the Fairs around the state, Jackie found her first job off the farm. She worked at the Old Homestead restaurant at the Fairs. She had many tales of hard but fun work, staying in the dormitory at Fryeburg Fair while working.
The family tradition continued, and she joined the Knox Agricultural Society (now Union Fair Association), and volunteered for many years in the different roles including running the restaurant. Jackie was one of the people behind the start of the Maine Blueberry Festival. She fondly recalled the brainstorming with Isabelle Abbott and Christine Savage at the annual State Fair convention. They started the Festival with a cooking contest to crown the first Queen baker.
After that year, the tradition of a coronation to crown the Maine Blueberry Queen began. Jackie’s touches on the pageantry were recorded by Maine author John Gould in an article titled A Queen and Biscuits (1962); later published in his book, Dispatches from Maine. The first Queen noted that Jackie and her biscuits stole the show at the banquet. Jackie followed the Fair over the years as extended family continues to volunteer. To the end Jackie was thinking about Fair and what family was doing. She asked every day how the crowd was, who won the contests, or how the weather was for the show.
Jackie’s life was dedicated to taking care of things, be it her children, the older generation, her house, young animals on the farm, or close friends. This carried throughout her entire life. She had a special way with taking care of her kitties and the barn cats. She loved taking care of lambs born on the farm that needed extra care and bottle-feeding. She always maintained a great sense of humor and vitality, and she loved taking a creative approach to holidays and celebrations. She exhibited great strength and confidence, and has helped many people going through changes and turmoil in their lives. She brought calm reason and comfort, giving a sense of normalcy and control when those in need felt lost.
Jackie was pre-deceased by her husband, Howard Hawes, and brother, Allan Martin.
She is survived by her children, Cheryl Larner and husband Jim of Bangor, Ron Hawes and wife Irene of Union, Alison Morgan and husband Patrick of Andalusia, AL, Gail Hawes and partner Rodney Sturdee of Union; former sons-in-law, Ken Ireland of Andalusia, AL (now deceased), and Ben van der Schaaf of New York, NY; grandchildren, Jon Jason Hawes, Lisa (Larner) Goodell, Matthias Hawes, Daniel Ireland, Jana (Hawes) Anderson, Nicolas Ireland, Jane van der Schaaf and Jill van der Schaaf; great-grandchildren, Alyssa Goodell, Nicole Ireland, Eva Anderson, McKinley Ireland, and Thatcher Anderson; siblings Lincoln Hawes and wife Peggy of Union, Mary Mulhern of Warren, Shirley Call and husband Malcolm of Jefferson, NH, Zoa Guptill and husband Steve of Berwick; many cousins, nieces, and nephews; and her special companion cat, Chance, who was a great comfort and sentry while she was living at home.
A special note of thanks is offered to Windward Gardens for their professional and gracious care, allowing Jackie to live comfortably away from home, with dignity and respect during her last year. She truly appreciated it.
A family graveside service is planned for October 13, 2019, followed by a remembrance reception for family and friends at 2 p.m., at the Union Masonic Lodge, 149 Sennebec Rd, Union, ME.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jackie’s name to the Pope Memorial Humane Society in Thomaston, ME.
A favorite poem of Jackie’s reflects her down-to-earth way of being:
The clock of life is wound but once,
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour.
To lose one’s wealth is sad indeed,
To lose one’s health is more,
To lose one’s soul is such a loss
That no man can restore.
The present only is our own,
So live, love, toil with a will,
Place no faith in ‘Tomorrow’,
For the Clock may then be still.
- Robert H. Smith