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East Atlanta Neighbor Will Be Missed

Alex Hawes volunteered on many library workdays. Here he is reshelving and helping to organize books on a Sunday afternoon. Photo by Henry Bryant

By Henry Bryant

East Atlanta neighbor Alex Hawes, age 82, passed away from cancer in March at his home on Flat Shoals Avenue. He was probably best known in the neighborhood for being the organizer of the wine table at Friends of East Atlanta Library Art Show receptions along with his wife, Peggy. 

Alex also helped restore and repaint the library’s bike rack sculpture, donating funds for a professional paint job at the Village Garage and Custom auto repair shop on Glenwood. He dug the hole and poured the concrete when an errant library patron missed the parking space and ran into the sculpture. Other than being uprooted, the sculpture had no damage, and a new foundation solved the problem. The sculpture is a red and blue abstraction of books made of steel rods and sits in the parking lot behind the building.

Alex was born, and grew up in Elberton, Georgia before going to Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia. He attended Georgia Tech and went on to become a physicist in the Air Force Sustainment Center Rocket Propulsion Lab. He graduated from Georgia Tech with a master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering. He was involved in the development of nuclear power plants in North and South America.

Alex was an avid runner, skier, and traveler. He was quiet, unassuming, but adventurous. His travels took him all over the world, including archeological digs in Thailand. He also managed quite a few trips with his grandkids to Europe, and the Rocky Mountains. He made several journeys to Spain to watch, and participate, in the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona. Unfortunately, the Covid Pandemic prevented him from returning for the run the year he turned 80. He will be missed in East Atlanta.

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