Near the end of WWI, on April 21, 1917, Cleo Gwenivere Dobesh was born, the fourth of 10 children, to Frank Dobesh and Cleo Knapp Dobesh on the family farm 10 miles south of Ansley.
Her elementary schooling was in a one-room schoolhouse at Battle Bend, and high school education at Taylor and at Ansley, graduating in the Ansley High School class of 1935. Her junior and senior years included being a cheerleader for the football team.
In 1937, she and Eugene Hawk were married in Loup City, and they left for California three days later. They lived in Chula Vista and National City for the rest of their married life. Her husband died in 1972, after 35 years of marriage.
“My main goal in life is just to be a good mother and homemaker,” she said. And she succeeded. She spent many years as a loving, active stay-at-home mom and proud grandmother. Gwen enjoyed conversation with family and friends in her home, and they loved her chocolate chip cookies. many teens stopped by her apartment to say ‘hi’ and were welcome to open her refrigerator, which they knew would be stocked with pop and ice cream. if anyone had the gift of hospitality, it was Gwen. What a delightful, fun spirit.
Showing much strength and courage after her husband’s passing, Gwen learned to drive and found employment at San Diego Naval Hospital where she worked until her retirement. Later, Gwen and her sister, Naomi, volunteered for a time as candy stripers at Paradise Valley Hospital.
Gwen’s interests ranged from sports to good food. She was a fan of the San Diego Padres, going back to games at old Lane Field. For a while she had season tickets for the San Diego Chargers, looking forward to each new season. She helped start the Chula Vista Christian Church, and later attended the CV Assembly of God.
Driving to Coronado was a favorite, relaxing activity. She took pride in her needlework and knitting, and enjoyed sharing her brightly knitted afghans and slippers as Christmas gifts.
With her usual good humor, she was thankful for the good years God gave. When her doctor asked her why she stopped her daily radiation treatments, she smiled at him and said, “I’ve given life 94 years. Isn’t that enough?” Her heart was right with God and she was ready to go Home.
On her passing, she leaves her son, Frank (Marie); grandsons, Hovie (Miija) of Seattle, Wash., JD of Anchorage, Alaska, and Wesley (Stacey) of Van Nuys, Calif.; great-grandchildren, Kealan, Kiela and Jared; one sister, Yvonne Ostrand of Ansley; 13 nieces and 10 nephews.
Published in Custer County Chief, June 16, 2011