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Orville Hawes & Leolo Suber
Ohio Northern University Class of 1932

 

Orville W. Hawes graduated from Ohio Northern University in 1932. He married Leolo C. Suber who graduated from ONU that same year.

 

Orville Hawes

Orville started his life on his father's farm near Tawawa, Shelby Co., Ohio in 1910. Thus began a difficult, rewarding, and interesting life through several schools culminating in a Master's Degree, at least three distinct careers, and a resident of five states.

Orville was the youngest of four children -- all boys. He descended from a long chain of farmers in Virginia and then in Ohio. When Orville was 10 years old, his father died, leaving his mother, Ida, to raise two boys (the oldest two boys had each married by then.) She sold the farm and moved into Tawawa, a small village of about fifty people. Orville's next-older brother dropped out of school in the seventh grade to help support the family. Soon, Orville's mother moved her boys to St. Paris, Champaign Co., Ohio to obtain employment there. St. Paris was a town of about a thousand people, but Orville was impressed and in his memoirs wrote: "It even had street names." When that job did not work out, Ida and her two youngest boys moved to Quincy in Logan Co., Ohio where she took a job as a housekeeper. Quincy was then a town of about two hundred persons. The teachers at the Quincy school recognized Orville as being an outstanding student and encouraged his mother to keep him in school. For the next several years, Ida devoted her life to doing just that.

Orville graduated as Valedictorian from Quincy High School at Quincy in 1928. While in high school, Orville discovered sports and thus began his life-long love of basketball and especially baseball.

With his mother's encouragement and support, Orville chose to go to college. He was the first member of his family, and probably the first resident of the township, to do so. Orville wanted to study Electrical Engineering at Ohio Northern University (ONU).To make that financially possible, his mother moved to Ada, Ohio with him and took a job as a cook at the College Cafeteria. They lived in a series of apartments until Orville graduated. Although he became a member of Delta Sigma Phi, he never resided at the fraternity house.

Orville attended ONU during the Great Depression and the University had diminished to about half of its former size. However, Orville found the intellectual competition a bit more intimidating than that of high school. He wrote: "I had been valedictorian of my high school class and felt I was 'educated, by gosh' when I graduated. There were fourteen valedictorians in my first algebra class, many from big schools. I learned I really didn't know much." Throughout college, his grades were generally "B"s and "C"s with a smattering of "A"s (mostly in Physical Education).

During his sophomore year, Orville joined the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity. He said that it was known as a house of "jocks". He was also a member of the baseball team. That evidently was his greatest interest at ONU. He seemed to be able to recount the details of every game in which he played. He often spoke of his friends: Eddie Wagner, Johnny Kolb, Kinnison Young, J.D. MacCollum, Joe "Bud" Uhl, and Bernard Stiles. They apparently were fraternity brothers and fellow sports team members.

In his senior year, Orville was elected to be an officer of his fraternity. He was also elected to be an officer of the student branch of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers. (Later, in 1963, AIEE and the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) merged to form the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)). Also, by his senior year, Orville's grades gained him membership in the Nu Theta Kappa honorary engineering fraternity.

During summer breaks, Orville lived with and worked for one of his older brothers. Apparently his mother went with him. Depending upon which brother was housing him, he either helped farm or worked at a gravel plant. He also found time to frequently play softball.

 

Leolo Suber

In his junior year, Orville met Leolo C. Suber at a Xi Beta Chi sorority box lunch party. Apparently there was a close social relationship between the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity and the Xi Beta Chi sorority. Many of them later married and stayed in touch with each other through the early 1980s through what they called the "Round Robin". The Round Robin was a package of letters that circulated among them. When a member received it, she removed her last letter and added a new letter.

Leolo was raised in Deshler, Henry Co., Ohio. She had lived there since birth in 1910. Her father owned the Deshler Foundry and Machine Works -- the major employer of this village of about 1500 people. Leolo's grandfather had founded the business. Before this, her ancestors had been farmers in Pennsylvania and later in Ohio.

Leolo graduated from Deshler High School in 1928. That summer, her entire family drove to California and back in her father's 1928 Packard touring car.

Leo Suber, Leolo's older brother, had entered ONU two years before her. He graduated in 1930 and later inherited the family business. Leolo's mother insisted that Leolo be given the same educational opportunity as her brother. Leolo's father finally agreed, with the proviso that she return home every weekend. Leolo began working toward her AB (Bachelor of Arts) degree.

Leolo joined the Xi Beta Chi sorority, a new local organization organized in 1930. She also belonged to the Educational Association and the Woman's Athletic Association.

Since there were no dormitories, Leolo lived off campus at a rooming house. In her junior year, she moved into the Xi Beta Chi sorority house.

Leolo was expected to spend summer breaks at home in Deshler. However, she seems to have somewhat circumvented that requirement. The first summer (1929), she and a college friend worked at a resort at Lakeside, Ohio, on Lake Erie.

 

Leolo & Orville

Shortly after having met at the Xi Beta party, a friend of Orville's (Howard Dunlap) arranged a date. Conversely, Leolo claimed that one of her sorority sisters arranged the date. In any event, Orville and Leolo soon started regularly dating. She was later able to stop her parents' demand that she return home every weekend and they started enjoying the campus and Ada. Later that year, Orville occasionally went with her to Deshler on weekends.

Orville proposed to Leolo on the front porch of the Xi Beta Chi house in the spring of their senior year. He claimed that he was surprised when she said "yes". They agreed to delay marriage until Orville had a secure job.

Orville W. Hawes graduated in 1932 with a BS (Bachelor of Science) in Electrical Engineering. Leolo C. Suber graduated that same year with an AB degree in Education. In the meantime, Orville had been seeking employment. In the midst of the Depression, he found that no company was interested in hiring him as an Electrical Engineer. He wrote: "I never knew until then that there were so many ways to say no." Leolo too had not found employment.

Orville decided to stay at ONU to get his teaching credentials. That summer, both he and Leolo stayed in Ada to attend summer school. They lived just across the corner from each other, two blocks from the campus.

Leolo returned home to Deshler to live with her parents while Orville stayed in school for the next two semesters. In the spring of 1933 he again graduated, this time with a BS in Education.

Orville was hired to teach at Green Township School, Shelby County, Ohio. This was the same township where he had attended 1st through 4th grade. He lived at the home of his oldest brother.

Leolo could not find a teaching job the first year after graduation. The second year she taught at Butler School in Henry Co., Ohio. It was a one-room rural school of eight grades and was three miles from her home in Deshler and she was paid the grand sum of $150.00 for the school year.

Orville worked for one year and then he and Leolo were married. Dr. Robert Williams, Ohio Northern University President, conducted the marriage ceremony in his home in June, 1934.

Marriage ended Leolo's job since married women were not allowed to teach.

Orville and Leolo lived in Ada the summer after they married and he attended summer school and played baseball with Ada. He took the teacher's examination in Biology and English. Orville's mother moved in with one of her other sons.

Orville continued to teach at Green Township School for one more year. He was paid $1,200. Orville and Leolo lived in an apartment in Sidney, Ohio. They returned to Deshler for the summer. That summer, Orville played baseball with the Deshler team, working at Leolo's father's foundry, and looked for a better job.

The next year, Orville was accepted as a coach at Damascus Township School, McClure in Henry County, Ohio. That was near Leolo's home town of Deshler. His annual salary was $1,400.

Orville stayed at McClure for three years as a coach and science teacher. He coached baseball, boy's basketball, and girl's basketball. In that timeframe, he attended summer classes at Defiance College and Ohio State University. Leolo did some substitute teaching at Malinta in Henry Co., Ohio. In these three years, Orville's salary decreased to $1,300. He decided that he could not afford to stay.

Orville decided to obtain a Masters Degree in School Administration at Ohio State University (OSU) by attending summer school. On his last day of teaching in McClure, they gave up their rented house and rented a third floor apartment near the OSU campus for the summer term. Leolo enrolled in three Home Economics classes.

The following fall, in 1938, Orville became the Principle and Athletic Director of Paulding High School in Paulding County, Ohio. He also taught Algebra, Biology, General Science, Physics, and Chemistry. Leolo gave birth to their first child, a son, in 1938.

Orville stayed at Paulding High School for four years. In the meantime, he obtained his Masters degree from OSU in 1940. He and Leolo had a daughter in 1942.

Ambition motivated Orville to better utilize his skills and education. In 1943, he accepted the position of Superintendent of Schools in Stryker, Ohio. In 1945, Orville and Leolo had their second son. Orville also implemented a kindergarten program for the children of Stryker.

After four years at the Stryker Schools, Orville decided to leave the education profession. He seemed to have decided that he would be happier in another career. Throughout the war he had applied for other jobs, but employers were unwilling to take him because as soon as he left teaching, he would be drafted. So, in 1946, he was hired by the Ohio Society for Crippled Children (the Easter Seal Society) as a Field Director. He and his family resided in Groveport, Ohio until 1952 when they moved to Dunbar, West Virginia, where Orville became the Executive Director of the West Virginia Society for Crippled Children.

In West Virginia, Leolo decided that her children were old enough to allow her to return to the work force. For one year, she worked at the reference desk for the West Virginia Library Commission in Charleston. She attended Morris Harvey College (now University of Charleston) to obtain her state teaching credentials. After some substituting at Ford Elementary School in Dunbar, she was hired to teach 3rd grade at Grandview Elementary School in North Charleston.

In 1961, Orville moved his family to Jamestown, North Dakota to take charge of the North Dakota Society for Crippled Children.

Leolo was initially unable to obtain a teaching job in Jamestown because married women were prohibited to teach within the city limits. She did work at the Jamestown College library as a librarian. Later the ban on married women was lifted and she obtained a job teaching 3rd grade at the Jamestown Elementary School.

In 1965, Orville decided he was ready for another career transition and left charity work to establish the Hawes Printing Company in Crookston, Minnesota.

Leolo taught 3rd grade at the Crookston Elementary School until 1975 when she retired. Then, she worked for the Hawes Printing Company greeting customers and proofreading

In 1977, Orville sold his business and he and Leolo moved to San Jose, California. He was retired.

After 73 years of life, Orville W. Hawes passed away in San Jose On January 3, 1984. He succumbed from complications caused by diabetes from which he suffered for many years. He had been in good health during the holidays and his passing was unexpected.

Leolo continued to live in San Jose until 1999 when she moved to Salinas, California to be near her daughter. In 2005, she moved to San Jose, California to be near her son. On June 20, 2006, Leolo peacefully passed away in her sleep at the age of 96 years.

 

By:
Paul Hawes (#1 son)
North Carolina
&
Jean Bye (daughter)
South Carolina
2006