Laura S. Hawks

SALISBURY — Laura S. Hawks passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family on Feb. 3, 2019. 

Laura was born on Feb. 15, 1934, in Antwerp, Belgium, the daughter of Saturnino Salas of Argentina and Maria Cornelia Gevaert of Belgium. She was the granddaughter of Lieven Gevaert, a Flemish industrialist, and his wife, Maria. 

Laura’s early years were spent attending schools in Switzerland and Argentina. She moved to the United States with her family in 1940.  She attended The Kenwood Convent of the Sacred Heart School in Albany, N.Y., and then the Indian Mountain School (IMS)in Lakeville, as part of the first class that accepted girls at IMS. 

Laura graduated from Swarthmore College in 1955 and went to work for the Philadelphia Enquirer. In 1956 she married Francisco Lorch, a classmate from Swarthmore and moved to Brazil. While in Brazil she taught English at The American School in Sao Paulo. After three years in South America, she divorced and returned to Philadelphia, where she went to work for the American Red Cross. In 1960 she received her MA from the International University in Miami and went to work for the IBM Corporation in New York. She trained as one of the first computer programmers and was always proud of having been part of those early years of business computing. In 1963, she married Kent Hawks, a New York architect. and established a home in White Plains, N.Y. After 12 happy years, Kent was taken away by illness. In 1984 Laura moved with her two boys to Lakeville, where she started a successful computer consulting business. In 1999 she reunited with her college sweetheart from Swarthmore, Jose E. Flores. They were married in 2000. 

Laura firmly believed in helping people in need and dedicated herself to support causes that served the welfare of others. She joined the Rotary Club of Salisbury in the early 1980s and participated in promoting international exchange students in the U.S., relief work after natural disasters and projects to provide clean drinking water to developing countries. A very spiritual person, Laura joined the Unity movement, which teaches the ever-present, personal relationship with God. She was also for many years a member of the Congregational Church of Salisbury. Laura loved music and enjoyed attending local concerts every summer. She enjoyed traveling and she and Jose traveled extensively in Europe and the U.S. She was particularly proud of her family heritage and in 2018 Laura celebrated her 85th birthday with a trip and family reunion in Antwerp that coincided with Belgium’s national celebration of the 150th birthday of her grandfather, Lieven Gevaert. 

Laura is survived by her loving husband, Jose E. Flores; her sons, Mark Hawks in Massachusetts and Jeffrey Hawks and his wife Dr. Tricia Hawks in Carlisle, Pa.; her stepson, Joseph Flores de Meneses and his wife, Sarah, of Fairfield, Conn.; her stepdaughter, Lita Flores-Romero and her husband, Dr. Phillip Romero of Eugene, Ore.; her grandchildren, Joseph, Claire, Catherine and Anna Maria; her brothers, Hector Salas of Venezuela, and Carlos Salas and his wife, Cristina, of Charlotte, N.C.; and several nephews and nieces. 

Laura was predeceased by her brother, Saturnino Salas, in 2013.

Memorial services will be held at the Salisbury Congregational Church on Saturday, April 6, at 11 a.m. 

Memorial donations may be made in Laura’s memory to the Rotary Club of Salisbury, Conn. 

Arrangements are under the care of the Newkirk Palmer Funeral Home in North Canaan.