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Elizabeth Bixby "Bo" Hawkins

LIZABETH "BO" BIXBY HAWKINS was born October 8, 1917 and died March 31, 2009. She was born in St. Louis, Missouri to Harold McMillan Bixby and Elizabeth Case Bixby. She attended the Community School, John Burroughs in St. Louis, and Miss Porter's in Farmington CT. She was preceded in death by her first husband, William Dods Hawkins to whom she was married for 62 years. Her father, as president of the Bank of St. Louis, was principal backer of Charles Lindbergh's solo flight across the Atlantic, and, for his pivotal role, was given the honor of naming the plane "The Spirit of St. Louis" after the city. When the depression hit St. Louis, wiping out Mr. Bixby, Lindbergh returned the favor and influenced Mr. Bixby to join Pan American Airlines. Mr. Bixby subsequently was sent to China in 1930 to arrange landing rights for the China Clippers with China National Aviation Corporation, and when he discovered how protracted dealing with the Chinese would be, moved his family there. The family spent 8 years in China, and the Philippine Islands, with Bo and her older sister Frances enjoying the opportunity to travel extensively throughout Asia. This formed her for a life-long pleasure in travel. Bo's studies, interrupted at Miss Porter's, continued at the Hua Ren Schwa Keio School in Beijing. The family lived variously in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Macao, and Manila. In 1935, in Shanghai, she met Bill Hawkins, who was bicycling from Beijing to Canton after having graduated from Princeton in 1934. When the family was allowed by invading Japanese to leave Shanghai under a two hour truce in August of 1937, she moved to Baguio, and, in March of 1938, back to St. Louis. She and her sister Frances taught ballroom dancing in St. Louis after their return. Spending summers at the Bixby family home in Lake George, New York, she renewed her acquaintance with Bill Hawkins. They were married on April 6, 1940. In September of 1951, they moved to Houston. They had five children, nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Elizabeth "Lee" Harrison and husband Henry; Sidney Fay and husband Ab; Frances Pengra, and husband Ed Allday; Anne Hawkins; and George Hawkins and wife Hester. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren are Sam Harrison, wife Nicole and daughters Sophie and Hannah; Jay Harrison, wife Karen and daughter Aurelia and Henry; Elizabeth "Libby" Low, husband Beau and sons Cannon and Haden; Eloise Novotny, husband Andrew and daughters Amelia and Lillian; Anabel Fay; Dods Pengra and wife Kimberly; Oliver, Caleb and Nellen Hawkins. In her 90th year, she found happiness in a second marriage, to David Hannah, with whom she spent many an hour singing and simply holding hands. He brought her much pleasure in her later years, keeping her company and helping her to lead an active life. Bo Hawkins served on the boards of Sheltering Arms, the Garden Club of Houston (as president in 1975), the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, and the Asia Society. She volunteered tirelessly for the Junior League, United Way, Red Cross of America, and, for 20 years, with the Girl Scouts of America. In her later years she taught English as a second language and took up bridge. She was a tireless knitter and seamstress. She leaves behind a legacy of laughter, service, lasting friendship, and a cheerful outlook. Bo Hawkins never met a stranger, and welcomed everyone she met into her life, young and old. She loved dancing, golf at the Club, laughter and her extended, adoring family. One of her greatest delights, and a lasting memory for all who knew her, was the time she spent at the piano, playing her favorite songs by ear, including her signature tune "Egyptian Ella," which never failed to bring frenzied dancing by little ones. She played all the music we loved, and instilled a love of singing and harmonizing in all her family. She will be missed by the many people she included in her life. A memorial service will be held at St. Martin's Church on Thursday, April 2 at 2:00, with a family internment this summer in Bolton Landing, NY. In lieu of sending flowers, Bo would ask that those who wish to remember her would send donations to the Houston Arboretum, 4501 Woodway, Houston Texas 77024.

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