Erlene Joy Hawkins
Erlene Joy Hawkins, 83, passed away peacefully Sunday morning, July 8, 2018, at 9:30 a.m. at Wilshire at Lakewood in Lee’s Summit, MO. Erlene was born in Independence, Missouri, on January 22, 1935, the daughter of Roy and Ethel Willoughby, the youngest of 15 children, and a twin.
Erlene attended Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa for two years. She then studied at UMKC, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education. She worked as a substitute teacher for a time and served as a mentor to children through the “Lunch Buddy” program.
She worked at H.O. Peet Company, which became Kidder Peabody, for 26 years, and she retired from Midland Radio when she was 65.
She was caring, giving, and devoted to the needs of her family and friends. She played a primary role in organizing the Willoughby family reunions each year for many years. She loved to sing and sang in the choir at her church for as long as she was able. She sang in Handel’s Messiah for several years at the RLDS Auditorium and once performed it at Carnegie Hall.
She is survived by her daughter, Sherry (Forrest) Irvin of Lee’s Summit, MO, as well as many nieces, nephews, and other family members and friends.
She will be cremated through Langsford Funeral Home in Lee’s Summit, MO. There will be a visitation Saturday, July 28, at 10:30 a.m., at the East Alton Community of Christ Church at 16999 E. 23rd Street S., Independence, MO, followed by a memorial service at 11:00 A.M., and lunch at the church at noon. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the National Stroke Association or the Dementia Society of America.