Greta was the second of ten children born to Clarence and Mary (Snider) Burkhart. She grew up on the family farm SW of Guernsey and often spoke of the happy, carefree days of childhood. Early education was at Waterloo; a one-room country school. When polio interrupted her life at the age of 14, her father was determined that she complete her education and train in a profession suitable to her circumstances. She completed grade 12 intending to enter secretarial training; however, on a word of encouragement from her high school principal, she decided to become a teacher; a decision she never regretted. She taught in several rural schools.
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In 1951, Greta married Ralph Hawes of Guernsey. After a honeymoon in Banff, they settled on the Hawes farm and were blessed with five daughters:
Carolyn (Kenneth) Bender and children Joel and Kendra of Regina, SK
Vivian Cadamia and children Michael (Ryan Santin), Ryan (Robyn) and their two children Gracie and Lorelai, and Janelle of Vancouver, BC
Margaret Hawes of Prince George, BC
Beverley (Thomas) Griffith and children Bonny and Georgia of Prince George, BC
Iris (Robert) Dentz and children Terri-Lynn and Jesse of Brockville, ON
Greta found pleasure in being a homemaker and participating in community events. She had a strong faith and was an active member of Sharon Mennonite Church. She enjoyed working with the 4-H Club when her girls were involved, volunteering at the Gift and Thrift Store in Lanigan, and participating in the Carlton Trail Writers Club and later Blue Sky Writers.
Both Greta and her husband Ralph enjoyed travelling. As their daughters scattered across the country, they had opportunities to travel north, east, and west, as well as to the United States including two trips to Hawaii.
Greta and Ralph celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on the farm where they had lived since their marriage. In 2004, they moved to Diamond Jubilee Court in Watrous where Greta lived until September of 2018. She became a resident of Last Mountain Pioneer Home in Strasbourg, SK and recently came back home to Watrous Manitou Lodge.
Greta was predeceased by her beloved husband Ralph in 2005; her parents, Clarence and Mary Burkhart; four sisters, Fern and her husband Stanley Shantz, Florence and her husband John Facchina, Mary and her husband Robert Knutson, and Merle; two brothers, Stanley aged two years, and Kenneth; her brother-in-law, Hubert Loken, and her sister-in-law, Jean Shantz. She is survived by her five daughters and their families; one brother, Ray (Vicki) Burkhart (Barrie, ON); two sisters, Beatrice (Walter) Bowman (Guernsey, SK), and Berna Loken (Edmonton, AB); a sister-in-law Ruth Hawes (Regina, SK); a brother-in-law Lyle Shantz (Watrous, SK), as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and friends.
Greta’s family would like to thank Sylvia Dubeczy and the staff and her friends at Diamond Jubilee Court, her Home Care aides and Meals on Wheels volunteers, the staff at Last Mountain Pioneer Home and Watrous Manitou Lodge, Dr. Choudhary and Dr. Adebayo and all of her extended family and friends who have supported her over the years with compassion and love. Never underestimate the power of even the simplest act of kindness.
As an artist or photographer captures images with a brush or camera, Greta captured images with her words. She was a woman of quiet, steadfast faith in God, and along with her husband Ralph, provided a secure and happy home for her family. May God bless to us the memory of Greta Hawes.
The Funeral Service will be held at the Philadelphia Mennonite Brethren Church, near Watrous, SK on Saturday, August 24, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. with Pastor Darren Holland officiating. A Private Family Interment will be held in Sharon Cemetery. A visitation for family and friends will take place at Fotheringham’s Funeral Chapel, Watrous, SK. on Friday, August 23, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. For online condolences, tributes or to make a memorial donation in her memory to the Mennonite Central Committee or the Philadelphia Mennonite Church please visit http://www.fotheringham-mcdougall.com