Kathy Hawley Interview
This is Jean McMillen. I am interviewing Kathy Hawley who is going to talk about a lot of things. She is Volunteer of the Year. She bookkeeps for everybody and she is just a wonderful person. Today’s date is Sept. 27, 2021. This is cycle 4, file #37.
JM:What is your full name?
KH:Kathleen Hayes Hawley
JM:When were you born?
KH:Nov. 26, 1954
JM:How did you come to the area?
KH:I met Jack in 1987 and then we got married in 1991. I moved up here.
JM:We are very fortunate. I am going to talk first about the bank. How did you get involved with Salisbury Bank & Trust?
KH:My previous job had closed down in New Hartford where I was commuting. I had about six months off while I got myself used to Lakeville, Ct. Jack Rogers suggested that I put in an application at the Salisbury Bank.
JM;How did you know Jack Rogers? (See his interview)
KH:Jack Rogers lived next door to us. He lived in the house next door.
JM:Did the application work?
KH:It did. John Perotti who was President at the bank at the time called me and said, “We have an opening. Somebody is going out for a few months on medical leave: we could use you in Deposits Operations.” At that time it was stuffing checks into the statements either monthly or daily. I had to make sure the checks went into the same statement that it said.
JM:When did you actually join the back?
KH:That was Nov. of 1993.
JM:After a while in Deposits you moved up to something else.
KH:Yes, I did. I was working in Deposits and then I was helping with switchboard, and the Proof Department. Then there was an opening upstairs in the Accounts Payable Department. I moved upstairs to that in Aug. of 1995.
JM:What do you do in Accounts Payable?
KH:In that job I was paying all the bills for the bank: There was a bill paying program for some people that had the bank helping them pay their bills from their accounts. I took over that also.
JM:Then you became Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for the holding company.
KH:Yes, then I moved up to the Finance Officer. That’s when I was over in Canaan when we merged with the Canaan National Bank. (See John Perotti’s interview) We purchased that. The Finance Department was brought over to Canaan to work with their accounting department there. Then I became Finance Officer. When we were doing that with the Canaan National Bank, we took over all their stockholders and stuff. I worked closely with that and then I was made assistant secretary to the bank corp.
JM:How long were you with the bank?
KH:I started in Nov. 1993 and I left at the end of January 2012, a little over 18 years.
JM:You had done some volunteer work before you retired, and Jack Rogers got you into something else.
KH:Right, the summer of 1993 I was felt I should start doing some stuff, not working and he suggested that I become the assistant treasurer at the Salisbury Association: he was treasurer at the time and be involved with the Holley-Williams House.
JM:Were you assistant treasurer all the time or did you move up to treasurer.
KH:No I only stayed as assistant treasurer: I was always there until they pretty much closed down the Holley Williams House (2010 Ed,) Then they didn’t really need an assistant treasurer for that. Then I left.
JM:With your husband being an EMT you got involved with the Salisbury Volunteer Ambulance Service as bookkeeper.
KH:Right, also in Nov. of 1993 the former bookkeeper they had was moving out of the country. The board asked me if I would take over as bookkeeper for the ambulance service.
JM:Are you still their bookkeeper?
KH:I am still doing it as of today Sept. 27, 2021.
JM:Tell me about Ted Davis a bit.3.
KH:Ted Davis was on the ambulance squad and he was running the EMT classes, and EMT refresher courses. He was a teacher at Hotchkiss. They would do it on Thursday nights in the fall usually September to April this was how long the EMT class went. Because I was involved with Salisbury Ambulance, I got to know people. I asked him if he wanted me or other people to also help to be a “victim” at the practicals, three times during the year program that it was on. They had to practice on people so I let them practice taking blood pressure, wrap me up in a tourniquet, or whatever the scene was that they were coming in to learn how to do things. I did that. When he left Hotchkiss because he retired, Jackie Rice took over (See her interview) teaching the EMT course. I continued to do that for her. When she stopped the EMT course a few years back and now just does the refresher course so I am not a victim anymore. I still help her out because we still have to pay the bill with that.
JM:Tell me about the Lion’s Club. When did this occur?
KH:I believe it was at the beginning of Feb. or April of 1995 Ron Storms who did go to Hotchkiss School was high up in Lion’s Club of Connecticut. He approached several people in Salisbury/Lakeville to start up a Salisbury Lion’s Club. I am not sure how he got my name, but he came to the house and did his spiel: he asked Jack and me to become members. When I asked him for other names of people who had agreed to join, I knew most of them so we said OK. I believe we got chartered in June of 1995. We ran that.
JM:What offices did you hold in that organization?
KH:At the time I had been Vice President, then I went to President, I might have done another VP and then I was elected the secretary and I continued that until we closed the organization in Dec. 2006. It lasted 11 years that we had it.
JM:What kind of an organization is it?
KH:The Lion’s Club is a service organization. We would have fund raisers. The Lions are very involved with eye sight, blindness, and things like that. We did have a couple of golf tournaments up at Hotchkiss School. We did hold one year a vision clinic when they were having down at the high school the Tri State Chamber of Commerce Trade Fair. We always had a booth there. We were very involved with Fidelco Guide dogs for people. There were certain organizations that we always had to donate money to. That was a Lion’s thing: we just donated to Fidelco, the eye sight care.
JM:That’s why one of the awards that is given which you received is called the Knights of the Blind.
KH:Right, I am not sure what their criteria was for, but I think it is because I did so much in it and I was always at every function, running every function and something like that. Whatever I am in, I give 100% back. I don’t just put my name on anything.
JM:I can tell. You also received another award the Outstanding Lion of the Year Award,
KH:Outstanding Secretary, Secretary of the Year4.
KH:Every year they would have a meeting: it used to be at the Cornucopia in Torrington. All the Lions from our district would show up. They would pick somebody from their club to be an outstanding lion. They always gave awards to their secretaries. So yes, you are correct, I did get the Outstanding Lion of the Year, plus as secretary I was always getting the secretarial award because my reports were on time and correct.
JM:Doing your job properly. You became bookkeeper for Salisbury Family Services in 1997? Are you still doing it?
KH:Correct, yes I am. I also have been elected onto their board as treasurer when their treasurer left. The board asked me if I would be their treasurer.
JM:I am assuming that you also participate in all of their functions.
KH:I did and I just finished having one last weekend at the White Hart green, the Artists function.
JM:Oh that was beautifully done. Then you became involved with the Market Place of Salisbury?
JM:Now that is what?
KH:The Market Place of Salisbury was started in I believe in 1970 which was a spin –off of the Salisbury Village Fund or Village Committee. The mission is to provide a grocery store to the town of Salisbury. They own all the property there. LaBonne’s currently is the grocery store which has been ever since I have been here (1991) (Shagroy Market was where Neo is now when I came in 1967, and then it moved to the location where Labonne’s is now. Ed.) They are the tenants. The Market Place has the property, they are the landlord. We do have stockholders. People are stockholders in the Market Place of Salisbury.
JM:You were elected to the board as secretary there too?
KH:Yes, I was their bookkeeper from 1998. When their secretary passed away, they asked me to fill in as secretary and I was elected to their board. I had been filling in as secretary whenever she was not available. For most board I do that. I volunteer: I will take the minutes for that meeting.
JM:In 2007 you were on the board for the Housatonic Child Care Center.
KH:Yes, I got on that for a three year term. They had asked me with a couple of other people to come on the board. I did it. Because of my bookkeeping background, I saw some areas which could be improved as they were a non-profit organization. There were things that we didn’t really need which I could sort out as bookkeeper. The taxes and payroll were fine, but I could handle paying their bills. I offered to do that. When my term of office was up, I said I will stay on as bookkeeper.
JM:So you went on as bookkeeper in 2010 and you are still doing it in 2021. 5.
KH:I am still doing it, yes.
JM:You are a good lady.
KH:I help out at all their functions. Even though I am not a board member, I go to all the board meetings so that I know what they discuss. If they are allocation money, I need to know when the bill comes in and what it is for. I participate in any of their functions that they have running the Big Rig. A lot of these organizations because of the pandemic in 2020 we had to stop fundraising.
JM:But we’ll be back at it again soon.
KH:We will. I hope so.
JM:Then in 2012 you were elected to the Salisbury Cemetery Commission on the board.
JM:Who got you involved with that?
KH:Susan Vreeland. I had gotten to know her mainly because her husband was on the board of Salisbury volunteer Ambulance Service so I know her, plus she was I believe she was President of the Housatonic Child Care Center when I first came on their board. She was ending her term. So we knew each other. She mentioned that and I said OK. There is only one meeting a year. I am not doing anything: it is not like I am doing stuff on that board. It is just being there. Should we be planting some trees, do we need to do that? It is a very easy board to be on.
JM:Are you secretary?
KH:Yes, I became secretary on that one because the person who was secretary thought she should just give it up. She is still on the board, but she just thought it would be easier if Kathy did it.
JM:And Kathy said Sure! So you have been on that since 2014 and you are still doing it?
KH:Yes I am.
JM:Do you take shorthand or do you tape them?
KH:I don’t do shorthand and I used to when I was in college and in high school, but no I just do a little bit of abbreviation, but because of not knowing it, when I come home I need to do the minutes fairly soon because I’ll forget what that code word would mean.
JM:I know exactly what you are talking about. I have the same problem with this one.
KH:I always run my minutes through the President to have her review it because there are some things I didn’t pick up. She might have been reading off a report so just give me the report.
JM:Now I want to talk about Hospice. What was the motivation for you to be trained for Hospice?
KH:My friend’s son, I knew the family since 1965, was born in 1970. We communicated and she was living in Florida at the time. She said that her son has been diagnosed with esophageal cancer. We went back and forth: he was done well: then he was doing badly. Near the end he was put on Hospice. It was very trying for her. Her son was very aware; he planned his own funeral, he knew what he wanted for songs and flowers. He started communicating with me sending me letters of all the things we used to do when he was a child. Where I previously worked, the company would take bus trips once a year for the family. I brought him as my family. I was not married then and had no children. I didn’t have any nieces or nephews close by so he was my child that I brought to the Christmas party every year. He would send me letters every now and then. “Remember when we did this? We did that?” He triggered by memories. I went back to my photo albums of this stuff and made copies of pictures. I would send him them. “Yes, remember when we did this?” We had good communication. Then he died in May of 2011, it was his tenth year anniversary. In 2011 I have given the bank my notice that I was going to be leaving: I gave them a year notice. When I left in January of 2012, I said when they offer the next Hospice class at SVNA (Salisbury Visiting Nurse Association Ed.) I wanted to join it.
JM:What taught it?
KH:Donna DiMartino was the instructor at that time.
JM:What was your training like?
KH:It was 6 or 8 weeks. We went Tuesday mornings. That is why I had to be unemployed since it was morning classes every week. I learned a lot from it. It was very inspiring. People would say, “Why do you want to deal with people who are dying?” I was doing it for my friend’s son. It was because of him and his memory that I was doing it. I believe the course ended in the fall of 2013. In the beginning of 2014 I asked when I would get a case. I did not know how it worked. We have somebody in Sharon: the person who does her goes to Florida for 3 months. Would you like to do this person? Fine I stared with this person: I would go every week. Her daughter was the main caregiver so it gave her daughter a day to take care of herself, to do what she needed.
JM:Would you be there for a whole day?
KH:No, the SVA would call me and say on Monday (as I did Mondays), go at noon. The CNA would be there from 10 to noon and then you can do from noon on. OK
JM:What is CNA?
KH:Certified Nursing Assistant I went around their schedule. The daughter needed a day to do stuff; I would be there about 3 hours.
KH:How many cases have you had?
KH:I have had quite a few. Lots of times I may go to somebody one time because they passed on. That is part of Hospice: you know they are going to die.
JM:But you do not do anything medical.
KH:No a Hospice volunteer does not do anything medical. We don’t feed the person, we can put their food in front of them; it is more like a companion. We read to them, just hold their hand if they are sleeping or unconscious. It is just moral support for the family that the person is not by themselves.
JM:It is a wonderful occupation, it truly is. I am so pleased that there are people around that are doing this.
KH:Then of course I did not do many last year because of the pandemic. I have started up again; right now I am available. I have been vaccinated. I would only go into a place where somebody has been vaccinated.
JM:Now in 2014 you joined Noble Horizons Auxiliary as assistant treasurer.
KH:Right, the long- time treasurer was retiring and the assistant was moving up to the treasurer’s position, so they approached me. I talked to the previous assistant to see what she did. I really didn’t have to do anything because the treasurer did everything. I said OK. I said they asked me to be on and she said, “I’d love to have you. There is going to be learning for all of us.” I went on that in October. The following October they elected me as treasurer because she had to resign for medical reasons. I became treasurer. I have stayed treasurer. In their by-laws the treasurer has unlimited term. So there are no term limits so I will not get off unless I wish to I do not need to be elected every 2 years.
JM:Oh goodie! In 2015 you became Invaluable Volunteer and in 2019 you go the Volunteer of the Year Award.
KH:Right, as an auxiliary treasurer I am there for every event they were doing. The auxiliary did all the tag sales. The auxiliary works very closely with the recreation department who does all the events. I work with them. If they need checks right away, I have them as I am available to do it. They thus put me in as invaluable. Then in 2019 I did get the Volunteer of the Year award. The pandemic came and we haven’t had any volunteers since. Every year the recreation department would have a volunteer meeting for all of the volunteers who worked during the year.
JM:Who is head of the Recreation Department?
KH:Right now it is Monica Knutson.
JM:Then in 2015 you became the sexton for St. Mary’s.
KH:Right, St. Mary’s had been looking for somebody and I was not interested. My friend said he would take over. I said OK I’ll help you because you usually go to Florida for the winter. I watch your house and we communicate all the time so I can be your helper. Sure enough he went to Florida. The other sexton trained me and showed me how to do things. Sure enough I had some burials to do. It just kind of kept doing it. I am looking for someone to take it over, but nobody is jumping to take over.
JM:I know. When you became sexton, it was before the merger of St, Mary’s into St. Martin of Tours?
KH:Yes it was just St. Mary’s church.
JM:When did the merger take place?
KH:June of 2017 is when they combined the three churches (St. Mary’s in Lakeville, St. Joseph in Canaan and the church in Norfolk. Ed.)
JM:You have worked with Habitat for Humanity, but you are not on the board.
KH:I am not on their board, I just volunteer at their annual tag sale. The only thing I would do is I would go on the Saturday, and sometimes the Friday night preview. On Saturday I would work from 9 to 2 for them as a cashier. I have done that for way back when they were at the Bitterman Center in Canaan. Then they started at Hotchkiss School and one year they used Salisbury School when Hotchkiss was renovating. Then it went back to Hotchkiss. Last year we didn’t have it.
JM:I have tried to cover just about everything, but is there anything that I have missed that you would like to talk about before we close?
KH:I don’t think so. I think we have covered all the organizations that I have been involved with. All I know is when people are looking for someone they always say find someone that is busy and I believe that is true because I am busy. When they ask me I am learning to say no, I really do not need to add more to my plate. I have a couple of other bookkeeping jobs that are not organizations. I also have some private clients that I help pay their bills. I am quite busy.
JM;I guess you are. Thank you so very much.
KH:You are welcome Jean.