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Petronilla “Petra” Hawes

Date of Death: May 31, 2019
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Location Not Available
Friday 6/7, 11:00 am

Graveside Service
Mount Hebron Cemetery
Winchester, Virginia

Mount Hebron Cemetery
305 E. Boscawen Street
Winchester, VA 22601
Friday 6/7

Memorial contributions may be made to:
Charity of donor’s choice

Petronilla “Petra” Hawes, of Alexandria, Virginia, passed away on her 91st birthday, Friday, May 31, 2019 in Spring Arbor of Winchester. Mrs. Hawes was born in Germering, Germany in 1928, the daughter of the late Josef and Petronilla Meyer. She worked as an archivist for the National Archives in Washington, D.C. until her retirement. SheContinue Reading

Linda Wagner left a message on June 28, 2019:
Words cannot sufficiently express the emotions surrounding the passing of such a treasured person as Piet. There is some comfort that she has joined her beloved Gordon and was able to remain in their home all but a few final days. Both were known to me nearly as long as my own parents. We shared so many memories of living and working in Northern Virginia and Washington DC, but even more special were the joyful recollections of visits to Europe, but most importantly to Bavaria. I will carry the memories forever. My heart goes out to Sonny and Steve, and their beautiful families.
Charles Bailey left a message on June 5, 2019:
Since my second year, Pete and the Hawes family have been lasting and trusted friends She will be missed. In particular, I will treasure always these past few years since my return to Alexandria, during which I have again been a neighbor and enjoyed anew the friendship of both Pete and Gordon, as well as time to hang out with Steve and Katrina, their family. and Sonja during her visits. Loving tributes to Pete will be countless and timeless, but Pete's life more than reflects an extraordinary historical narrative. My own interest in German and European history has guided me in trying to understand what Pete had experienced and come to know, even though she tended always to demure on any topics that lifted any shut lids. Memories and insights shared confirmed both her depth of comprehension and the profound weight of this history on her and her family. It was an exceptionally intelligent young woman, who was just 17 when WWII ended, who came to work in the US Occupation HQ in Munich in late-1945 or early-1946. There she met Gordon, who not so long ago said she was known as the smartest, loveliest girl on base. He also spoke of how hard it was to get her attention when he waited by her office doors. It was a joy to sit with the two of them over dinner as Gordon recounted those incredible days. Her long career with the US National Archives in Alexandria and Washington extended her German years as much as it marked new beginnings with a family in a particularly exciting chapter of what is known as the American Dream. The photo found recently on a webpage link (below) from the US Archives site shows Pete engaged in what was one of the most extraordinary archiving and logistics projects of the 20th century--not too mention also one of the most legally challenging ones. Pete is seated at center at the typewriter. A close friend and another Alexandria neighbor, Mrs Wagner, stands next to her. Pete's face beamed pride when I showed her this webpage image a few months ago, but her lips remained professionally sealed as to any hints of the knowledge she had gained from such responsibility and work. I always knew never to ask too many questions, but as years passed and my own experiences in Germany and Europe took form, my appreciation for the gravity of what she worked on and had experienced grew. She comprehended well what confounded and confounds so many. ____________________ Liebe Pete, Herzlichen Dank für alles im Leben. Ruhe in Frieden! With much love Chuck
Omps Funeral Home left a message:
Please accept our deepest condolences for your family's loss.
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