November 28, 1927 ~ October 3, 2020

Born in: Providence, RI
Resided in: Cheshire, CT

Raymond Gordon Hawes, age 92, of Elim Park, Cheshire, passed away on October 3, 2020 at the West Haven VA Hospital. Ray was born in Providence, RI on November 28, 1927, son of the late Russell Cheney and Amey Mahala Peck Hawes. He was married to his wife of 64 years, the late Betty Jane Nelson Hawes. Ray is survived by his children, Bradford Gordon Hawes of Weaverville, NC and Susan (Wayne) Harris of Wallingford; daughter-in-law, Lorraine Hawes of Hamden; grandchildren, Joseph (Michelle) Hawes of Wallingford, Jennifer (Dan) Griggs of Cheshire, and Kelly (Patrick) Crawley of Warwick, RI; great-grandchildren, Kaylee and Ryan Griggs; and his companion, Shirley Michel of Cheshire. Predeceased by his son, Gary Nelson Hawes; brothers, Russell L. and Richard P. Hawes; and sister, Elizabeth Bragg.
Ray was a WWII Veteran, serving in the Army of the United States in the Army Occupation in Japan in 1948. He graduated from MIT with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1950. While employed at Winchester Repeating Arms Co. division of Olin Corp. in New Haven, he was an ammunition manufacturing engineer and later the ammunition manufacturing superintendent. He worked for USM Corp., later Emhart Corp., Black and Decker, and Stanley Works in New Haven, Shelton, and Farmington in engineering and management positions from 1950 to 1985. Ray served the Industrial Fastener Institute as chairman of its blind fasteners technical committee from 1971-1982 and was the author of several domestic and international blind rivet standards. Prior to his retirement from Emhart Corp. in 1985, he performed in excess of 100 environmental compliance reviews in North America, South America, and Europe. After retirement, he performed environmental engineering consulting until 1992. He also volunteered as an income tax preparer for VITA (IRS) and TCE (CT) for 14 years.
Ray was the author of four major Hawes genealogies and one Hawes booklet. “The Edward Hawes Heirs,” his first book, was the CT Society of Genealogists 1997 Literary Awards Contest Grand Prize winner. His fourth book, “The Richard Hawes Genealogy,” was the co-winner of the 2004 CSG Inc. Literary Awards Grand Prize for New England genealogy. Ray sang tenor in the choir of the Spring Glen United Church of Christ for more than 48 years and tenor in the Cheshire Community Chorus for five years. He organized and sang tenor in the Elim Park Barber Shop Chorus. Ray loved to play many sports in his youth and mostly golfed in his later years. At Elim Park he enjoyed playing billiards, bridge, and shuffleboard. The Boston Red Sox were a lifelong passion, followed by the UCONN women’s basketball team.
Friends may visit with his family on Saturday, October 17th from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at BEECHER & BENNETT, 2300 Whitney Ave., Hamden followed by a Memorial Service celebrating Ray’s life at 4:00 p.m. in the funeral home. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Spring Glen United Church of Christ, 1825 Whitney Ave., Hamden, CT 06518.


Visitation: October 17, 2020 2:00 - 4:00 pm

Beecher & Bennett Funeral Service - Hamden
2300 Whitney Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518


Funeral Service: October 17, 2020 4:00 pm

Beecher & Bennett Funeral Service - Hamden
2300 Whitney Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518


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  1. Ray Hawes was one of our favorite VITA volunteers at Miller Library. He paid meticulous attention to detail while remaining kind and patient with everyone he helped. He seemed to put even the most anxiety ridden, disorganized client at ease while he prepared their tax forms. He took the same meticulous attention to detail and applied it to his genealogies, which he often researched at Miller Library. I was happy, but not surprised when his genealogies won awards. The awards were a sure acknowledgement of the quality of Ray’s scholarship.

  2. Ray Hawes was a truly fine gentleman. he and his friend Shirley Michel invited us to sit with them for breakfast when we first moved to Elim Park. We sincerely appreciated their gesture and have remained friends since then. betty & Jim Hackett

  3. I first met Ray in 1949. Betty and I were in The Hospital of St Raphael nursing school together. Ray was her date at a dinner dance. My husband, Ted, together with Ray and Betty, spent weekends together. We went to restaurants, movies, Nee Gate Prison and saw the replica of the Santa Maria, to name a few. Ted and I moved to Elim Park in 2007. Ted passed away on 2009. Ray’s birthday was in November. He said that this was probably his final year. I said nah, you probably have several more to go. He proved me wrong.

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