August 17, 1928 - December 12, 2022
Elsie Hawthorne gained her heavenly rest on Monday, December 12, 2022, at the age of 94. Born in Philadelphia, PA, on August 17, 1928, she was one of the three “Breuer Girls” of the late George and Elsie Breuer and moved to Delaware after her marriage to her late husband, Ed Hawthorne. A devoted wife, she shared many happy times and wonderful trips with Ed as they traveled across the USA and to more than 27 countries in the world. They made lifelong friends everywhere they went. She was especially fond of the many wonderful people they connected with through Ed’s years working and volunteering in fire service in Delaware, Illinois, North Carolina, Maryland, Germany and Saudi Arabia.
Elsie was a loving, proud mother of five children and a wonderful guide in living a life full of warmth and kindness. She believed in having fun and enjoying life – especially with her grandchildren and was always ready to play games with them or read them stories. She was delighted when several of her grandchildren became teachers including her grandson Michael who lived closest to her and enjoyed reading to her during her twilight years.
She belonged to several community and church organizations, including the Lions Club and Columbiettes, where her strong spiritual faith was the core of her life of service and helping those less fortunate. Elsie was recognized for her charitable efforts.
Her lifelong teaching career started early in her marriage as she first began a preschool in her home and then worked with Littleton Mitchell to establish and teach in a public kindergarten in Delaware City. When kindergarten became standard in public schools, she went to college, worked hard to earn a teaching degree and was delighted to graduate from the University of Delaware in the same class as her daughter. Everywhere from Delaware to Illinois to Saudi Arabia, she loved teaching the youngest students and giving them a strong foundation for learning.
In addition to her parents, Elsie was preceded in death by her husband, Ed, (2010); son, George, (2019); and daughter-in-law, Linda (2021). She will be dearly missed by her children, Edward (Kathy) of Haslet, TX, Nancy Wilson (Gregg) of Middletown, DE, Jeff of Joliet, IL and Mike of Christiansburg, VA; her daughter-in-law, Daryl of New Holland, PA; her cherished sisters, Elaine Spruhde and Marie Disbrow (Harry); and her many good friends around the world. She was a wonderful grandmom (and teacher of fun times) to Suzie, Michael, Wendy, Mindy, Mary Beth, Virginia, Jeffery, and Lauren; and her 8 great-grandchildren.
For the last few years, Elsie has been blessed to live at Somerford House in Newark and her family sincerely thanks all the Somerford “family” who have provided her with such loving care and wonderful friendship. Our deepest gratitude also to Bayada Hospice for enriching her life and comforting her these past few months.
A visitation for family and friends will be held from 11 am until 12 pm on Friday, January 20, 2023, at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 121 West Park Place, Newark, DE, where a funeral service will begin 12 pm. Interment will be held privately in Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery.
In the spirit of Elsie’s compassion for others, donations in her memory to your local “Food Bank” are recommended.
6 Condolences for Elsie Hawthorne
I love you!
Learned so much from Elsie, “whatever works”! My favorite.
Dear Friend you’re missed. So glad you were part of my life!
Karen Schilling Ross
Nancy and I were students at the University of Delaware. I remember eating lunch with her across the street from Willard Hall. I remember her fondly.
She was a special friend and loved our times together traveling. May God comfort you all
Keith and Diane Kelly
Ed, our prayers are with you and your family during this very difficult chapter of life.
Donna Disbrow Rongo/Marie Breuer Disbrow
Dearest Aunt Elsie,
Rest in peace Beloved Aunt. You are forever in our hearts. Thank you for being our mother’s first friend and second mother. There is NO bond like that of a sister. You were different beautiful flowers from the same garden.