Cuyahoga Falls resident Hattie Louise (Bennett) Hawley is now a centenarian. She does not drink or smoke and credits vitamins, God's grace and "staying away from doctors" for her good health.
Mayor Don L. Robart declared Oct. 19 as "Hattie Hawley Day" in Cuyahoga Falls. Her family hosted a party in honor of her 100th birthday at the Natatorium. In addition to the mayoral proclamation, she received a letter from President and Mrs. Obama congratulating her as well as a flag that had been flown over the Capital Building.
Hattie Louise Bennett was born in Hudson on Oct. 17, 1913, the seventh child of 14 born to Frank and Ida Bennett. She attended Hudson High School where she played the position of guard on the girls basketball team. The team won the 1929-1930 Summit County championship by two points against Norton High School. She remembers singing and dancing in "Operettas" such as "Singing in the Rain" in high school.
She married Arthur V. Hawley on April 17, 1930. The couple was happily married for 53 years until he died in May 1983. Together they raised eight children: Arthur; Harold; Melvin; Juanita; Della June; Virgil (Tom); Virginia; and James.
Mrs. Hawley has resided in Cuyahoga Falls since the 1960s. She's been a member of Rock of Ages Community Church in Cuyahoga Falls for more than 40 years, where she frequently sang her favorite hymns for an appreciative congregation.
She has 32 grandchildren and countless great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, and even great, great, great grandchildren. Mrs. Hawley also has one living baby sister, Florence Bittinger.
Mrs. Hawley loves flowers and has always had a vegetable garden as well as flower beds. Mindful of the birds, she always keeps her bird feeder stocked. She likes to can fruits and vegetables and makes delicious pie, jelly and especially sweet pickles that are famous throughout the family. She still likes to feed her family -- there may be a pot of homemade vegetable soup on her stove right now.
Despite her age, Mrs. Hawley can still touch her toes. According to her family, Mrs. Hawley has a sharp wit and does word find puzzles and reads in her spare time. She is a big fan of Carrie Underwood, loves the color pink and dressing up.
She likes to watch cooking shows and the latest episode of "The Bachelor."