Heidi [redacted] Hawks (she always hated her middle name), 49, passed away peacefully and quietly July 19, 2021, in Boise, Idaho, due to a sucker punch from Stage IV ovarian cancer; surrounded by loved ones in the comfort of her own bed, she left as she lived: on her own terms and with family by her side.
On September 20, 1971, in Weiser, Idaho, a bright light was born into the world to the family of Ellis Lee and Edna Ellen Hawks, née Potts. Heidi was the fourth of eight children and from a young age was a peacemaker and caregiver; she would help everyone with anything.
In 1982, her father took employment at the DeLamar Mine in Owyhee County, and the family moved to Jordan Valley, Oregon. She attended Jordan Valley public schools, graduating from Jordan Valley High in 1990.
Classroom learning was often a challenge for Heidi, which makes her all the more awesome because she overcame those challenges over and over again to earn her bachelor’s degree in childhood development from Boise State University.
For nearly 30 years Heidi taught and worked with infants in the Tadpole classroom at the YMCA Children’s Village in Boise, where she was affectionately known as “Miss Heidi”. It is where her heart truly was. She loved, adored, and cherished every single one of the hundreds of children that came through her classroom. Working there never made her financially wealthy, but the blessings of caring for and teaching those little ones filled her bucket every day. She rarely took a vacation, and when she did, it was pretty much because management told her she had to. Her education, her lifelong learning, her everything went into giving the infants entrusted to her care the best possible start to their lives.
As supported by the dozens of comments we’ve heard since her passing, she also was a mentor and friend to many new and veteran parents, struggling with the challenges of raising an infant. She was a steady, calm, cheerful help to so many people who say she made them better parents, helping her pupils even beyond the walls of her classroom.
Heidi also managed to share so much time, talent, creativity and love with her niblings (nieces and nephews). She hosted the annual “Un-Superbowl Party” where family squeezed into her teeny apartment, ate finger foods she made, and watched Harry Potter movies because she hated football. She also hosted the annual “Christmas Kids Sleepover” where her niblings all stayed an evening and overnight during the Christmas season where they ate loads of sugar and salt, washed it all down with buckets of Chex mix then shared with family and neighbors, helped her decorate her Christmas tree, set up her Nativity collection, and made Christmas crafts while providing the opportunity for her siblings and their spouses to finish their Christmas shopping and gift wrapping.
Heidi was also a devotee of scifi and fantasy genre TV shows and films, owning an impressive collection of them on DVD. She shared this love with her siblings and niblings across many craft projects, Halloweens and costumed parties around the community. She also had the courage to take up belly dancing and bare her belly to the world.
Heidi is survived by two who call her “Daughter”, 6 who call her “Sister”, 5 who call her “Sister-in-Law”, 22 who call her “Aunt”, 4 who call her “Great Aunt”, and hundreds who call her “Miss Heidi”.
Heidi lived a full life of unconditional and selfless giving. She was an unfaltering rock and a light to so many. She is and will be sorely missed by us all.
Services will be held on Monday, July 26 at 11:00am at the Curtis Road Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 701 S Curtis Road, Boise, Idaho. To honor Heidi’s personal commitment to halt the spread of COVID-19, all attendees are asked to wear a mask. If you prefer not attending in person, we invite you to participate in the broadcast here: http://tiny.cc/heidihawks. Interment to follow at Morris Hill Cemetery.