Wilma “Joanne” Hawkins
Wilma “Joanne” Hawkins passed away on May 2nd, 2020 after a battle with cancer. She was born to William Albert Lieske and Minnie Sopha Blomseth on February 25th, 1932 in Pequot Village Minnesota. Wilma was one of twelve children born to the pair and grew up very close to her siblings. Joanne attended Pequot Lakes High School before becoming a chef.
After World War II Joanne went to visit her cousin and had fallen asleep on a chair in his living room. Upon waking up she laid eyes on her future husband Raymond. The pair had a whirlwind romance, one most people will only ever read about, and married two months later on July 29th, 1950. They were “two love birds” and it was rare to see one without the other in tow. Joanne and Raymond decided to move to a farm and start a life for themselves together. Joanne loved animals and had an almost Snow White quality about her as all animals loved her too. She would often take warmed blankets out to the newborn calves at 2:00 am in negative 40-degree weather because “they might be cold”.
The epitome of grace and elegance, Joanne carried herself with a butterfly’s softness and an air of inherent authority. Her voice was soft but direct. When she was with you, it was obvious that she was fully present and paying attention, that what you said mattered. Those who spent time with her knew just how much she cared for them and never had to wonder if she was enjoying herself as her smile was infectious and her beauty glowed from within. She had an amazing sense of humor and sound almost anything funny. Her laughter could fill up a room with its delight.
Joanne was, at heart, a hostess and loved to cook for others. No matter what she made or how many times she made it she always had the same question “Did you like that? Did you really?” and you couldn’t so much as glance into the kitchen without hearing “can you come here and taste this for me?” More of a soft demand than a question. Whether it was a strawberry cake for birthdays or chocolate cake with homemade fudge icing her family always had a delicious homemade dessert waiting for them at home. Though, Joanne preferred to eat salads with a glass of red wine and ate them so much she was lovingly referred to as a “rabbit”.
Joanne was a woman of God and loved to read her bible. Joanne was one of God’s toughest soldiers and she knew that with God all things were possible and believed that keeping her faith strong was priority number one. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6 was a verse she kept near and dear to her heart. “God always has my back” was something she truly believed and often reminded her family of.
She loved being a grandmother and spending time with her grandchildren. There were countless weekends that her grandkids spent with her, going to the park, watching movies, eating grandma’s amazing cooking, playing hide and seek, and many other fun things. Through all of the fun, Joanne instilled two things in the hearts of her grandchildren; always be kind and love those around you with all of your heart.
Joanne is survived by her children, Pam (David), Greg (Betsy), and Terri Ann (Jim); eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Her memory will be carried on through them as they will always love her “a bushel and a peck”.