Cover photo for Barbara R. Hawkins's Obituary
Barbara R. Hawkins Profile Photo

Barbara R. Hawkins

December 15, 1932 — June 1, 2023


Barbara R. Hawkins

Barbara Rollo Hawkins, 90, of Cleveland, Ohio, passed away peacefully from complications associated with dementia on June 1, 2023. She was cared for by the committedand compassionate staff at Judson Park and the Reinberger Center.

Barbara was born on December 15, 1932, to John and Ida Bealer Rollo in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Liberty High School in 1950, she went on to study Elementary Education at Pennsylvania State University.

In 1957, she met ClevelandTax Attorney Edward J. Hawkins, and they married a year later. She and Ed had four children, Dan Hawkins (Carolyn Moss,) George Hawkins (Natalie Hawkins,) Rob Hawkins (Arisa Hawkins) and Harriet Hawkins Quigley (Jack Quigley).  Barbara and Edward divorced in 1990 but remained lifelong friends and loving parents.

Barbara’s fourth grade teacher cautioned the vivacious Barbara about joining too many activities, advice she cheerfully ignored. She enthusiastically joined dozens of music and student groups throughout her years in school.  Deeply practical, Barbara then became an elementary school teacher after college. When she married and had children, she became involved in organizations associated with her children and community, including serving as President of the Fairfax Elementary School Parent Teachers Association, President of the Shaker Heights League of Women Voters, Co-Chair of Plymouth Church’s Capital Campaign as well asserving as a teacher for their Sunday School.

After years devoted to her children, Barbara went back to school to attain a degree in non-profit management from Case Western Reserve University. She gained experience as alegal assistant for Jones Day Reavis & Pogue and returned to serving non-profits as Director of Development for numerous Cleveland organizations, including the Salvation Army, Lyric Opera and Youth Vision.  She also enjoyed a love of friends and travel, from hosting cocktail parties and long dinner conversations, to traveling to her father’s roots in Scotland and learning to ski in the Swiss alps in her 60s.

Barbara’s love of music started with singing, tap dancing and playing piano as a child, performing in musicals high school, and singing in the glee club in college and culminated when she sang as a soprano for the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus under the direction of Robert Shaw in the 1960s. She remained a passionate advocate and friend to the arts thereafter.

Barbara was fueled by the fundamental value that we need to do what we can to make the world a better place, leavened by her love of the arts and her irreverent good humor.

Barbara was predeceased by her sister Nancy in 1930, her father in 1952, her brother Jack in 1980 and her mother in 1988. She is survived by her four children, their spouses and 10 grandchildren.  In lieu of flowers, Barbara’s family asks for donations to the Judson Foundation ( or the Alzheimer’s Association (  There will be a celebration of her life at Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights at 2:00 pm on Saturday, July 8. Viewers can join this celebration remotely via the livestream below.

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, July 8, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Plymouth Church of Shaker Heights

2860 Coventry Rd, Shaker Heights, OH 44120

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