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In Memory of Muriel Hawley

Muriel Annette (Rademaker) Hawley, 94, a long-time Baldwin resident, died peacefully at home early Saturday, December 12 surrounded by her family. Muriel was an active member of the Baldwin and area community, involved in civic, social and charitable organizations as well as being a nurse, wife and mother. Muriel was the daughter of Garrett and Alma (Klanderman) Rademaker and was born on the farm north of Woodville on August 19, 1926. When she was still young she and her family moved to a smaller farm east of Baldwin. She attended school at East Baldwin and recalled in later life that “we didn’t have a lot of money, but we always had enough to eat and clothes to wear. We had a big garden and grew broccoli, lima beans, etc. before they were popular. My mother was an excellent sewer and she made us clothes from hand me downs. I loved school and had some excellent teachers.” Muriel attended Baldwin High School and also recalled that “there were no school buses.” We walked when the weather was decent. Sometimes Dad drove us. I walked with a neighbor boy and we often got rides. Most of the time we knew the drivers, but not always. I wouldn’t dare do that now.” When she was in High School Muriel worked at Dubow’s Five and Dime during the summer and on Saturdays. Muriel knew from the time she was in grade school that she wanted to be a nurse. So after graduation from Baldwin High School she enrolled in The Bethesda Hospital School of Nursing in St. Paul. She graduated from nurses’ training in 1948, but was unable to attend her nursing school graduation ceremony because her Dad died that morning. Muriel was offered a job at the Baldwin Hospital, so she altered her plans to stay in St. Paul, and moved back home. “I loved working at the Baldwin Hospital,” Muriel recalled. “We had so much more responsibility and learned so much. We were first on call during emergencies before the doctors arrived. We knew most of the patients and we did everything from delivering babies, assisting in surgery and just general patient care.“ Muriel worked a couple of years in Baldwin but then accepted a position as a school nurse at a teachers’ college in Waterloo, Iowa. After learning that “it was the most boring job I ever had,” Muriel jumped at the opportunity presented by Dr. Sargeant to work at the Baldwin Clinic and returned home. It was during this time that she met her future husband Bill at Martinson’s Cafe, who was employed at the Baldwin Bulletin. They were married in 1955 at the First Reformed Church in Baldwin and then in quick succession came five children: Thomas, Peter, William G., and twins, Mary and John, best known as Jack. In 1957 Muriel and Bill and their first two children moved from their one-bedroom upstairs apartment into the home that Bill grew up in at 830 12th Avenue, which was built by his parents William E. and Ruth Hawley, when they were married. Muriel and William C. continued to reside in that home together for the next 63 years until Bill passed away in July of this year. After Muriel and Bill were married and started their family, Muriel gave up her nursing career to the demands of raising children, but did not give up her civic, community and church activities. Muriel was a long-time member of the Baldwin Hospital Auxiliary. She also served for 17 years as a trustee for Baldwin Community Memorial Hospital and successor Baldwin Area Medical Center. Muriel and Bill were members of First United Presbyterian Church of Baldwin and served as leaders of the high school youth group before their own children reached their high school years. In addition, Muriel was a Sunday School teacher and Vacation Bible School teacher. One of Muriel’s great loves was quilting. She made dozens of quilts during her lifetime and her daughter, each of her daughters-in-law and all of her grandchildren are the proud owners of a quilt made by Muriel. Muriel loved spending time at “the lake.” Bill and Muriel’s cabin was on Lake Wapogassett and was surrounded by cabins owned by relatives and friends. The cabin was thus both a retreat and gathering place for Muriel and her family. Muriel was preceded in death by her husband Bill, her parents, her brother Gayle, her brothers-in-law Kenneth Ohm and Kent Hawley and a nephew David Ohm. Muriel is survived by her children and their spouses: Tom and Rita Hawley, Peter and Julie Hawley, Bill G. Hawley, Mary and Tom Landry, and Jack Hawley; her eight grandchildren: Drew, Liz and wife Heather, John and wife Stephanie, Kelly, Ben, Ellen, Martha and Emma; eight great-grandchildren: Cora, Will, Mason, Lauren, Audrey, Kennedy, Avery and Bennett; sisters-in-law Judy Ohm, Donna Rademaker and Earlene Hawley; and nieces and nephews. Muriel’s life will be celebrated at a family gathering at O’Connell Family Funeral Home in Baldwin. Officiating at the service was Pastor Brian Ewing.

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