Kathryn “Kay” Ellen Newbanks Hauk, age 100, went to her heavenly home on Sunday, August 13, 2023, in Franklin, Tennessee, surrounded by family and friends. Kay was born April 18, 1923, in Kansas City, Missouri, to Minnie Adline and Landis Haley Newbanks. She was a faithful Christian who loved the Lord, her family, church, and community.
Kay finished grade school in a one room schoolhouse where she was the only student in her grade. She looked after her two younger brothers and learned to cook and sew from her mother.
She attended Kansas State Teachers College in Emporia, Kansas, and received a war-time Teaching Certificate. While there she met her husband, Ben Hauk, at church one Sunday evening when a friend bet him that he wouldn’t ask her out. Two months, two weeks, and two days later they were married on June 1, 1943.
They lived in Rochester, New York, and Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where Ben worked at the National Laboratory as a chemist on projects related to the atomic bomb. They then moved to Kingsport, Tennessee. They had three children while in Tennessee and Kay spent much of her time caring for them.
In 1951 Eastman Kodak moved Kay and Ben to Longview, Texas, where he was a chemist. Involvement in church was a very important part of her life, serving in the choir, media library, on various committees and minister search teams, and teaching a ladies Sunday School class. In 1957 they helped start Oakland Heights Baptist Church (a second church plant in their married life) where Kay began their preschool and kindergarten program. She worked as Preschool and Children’s Director and VBS Director at Oakland Heights and First Baptist Longview for several years.
Kay and Ben began a private home building business called KayBen Homes building over 100 homes in Longview. Kay was a skilled artist creating many paintings in various mediums as well as ceramics. She was also a skilled seamstress and quilter. With the gift of hospitality, she was an accomplished cook and loved to host large dinner parties and receptions. The most popular was her annual Intergenerational Tea at Christmastime.
When her youngest child was a senior in high school, Kay went back to college earning a B.A. degree in Art at Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, Texas. Upon Ben’s retirement from Eastman Kodak, they traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and Canada. In 2020 she completed her bucket list to visit all 50 states by making a trip to North Dakota.
One of Kay’s greatest enjoyments was influencing high school foreign exchange students by hosting 14 young ladies from 6 different countries over several years. For those who did not know English very well, Kay found herself helping with nightly homework.
In 2011 Kay and Ben moved to Franklin, Tennessee, to be closer to family, Kay’s influence then spread to her greatest joy – her 7 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren who nicknamed her “Great”!
Kay and Ben demonstrated an amazing love for each other and commitment to their 71 years of marriage. Her love of family and the Lord was evidenced by all who knew her. She valued time spent with family and at Forest Hills Baptist Church.
On April 8 of this year, her family and friends celebrated her 100th birthday. Family and friends came from all over the country – Hawaii, California, Indiana, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Her influence was far and wide.
Kay is preceded in death by her husband, Ben Hauk; brother, Hal (and Mary) Newbanks; sister-in-law, Dorcas (and Franklin) Fowler; and parents, Minnie and Landis Newbanks.
Kay is survived by her children, Don (and Judy) Hauk, Bonnie (and Todd) Davis, and Gary (and Brenda) Hauk; her special “adopted daughter”, Linda Hoss; grandchildren, Jeff Martinhauk, Brian (and Janel) Hauk, Michelle (and Glenn) Nanney, Kimba (and Paul) Campbell, Jennifer (and Jeff) Dial, Benny (and Andi) Hauk, and Dori (and Rich) Gorman; great grandchildren, Brian Martinhauk, Kacy Martinhauk, Saba Hauk, Jackson Hauk, Caden Campbell, Kyler Campbell, Landis Campbell, Lance Dial, Nicholas Dial, Katie (and Josh) Hilner, Sidney Hauk, Joe Hauk, David Hauk, Charis Gorman, and Nia Gorman; brother Don (and Barbara) Newbanks; sister-in-law, Connie (and Dennis) Wilson; and many nieces and nephews.
Celebration of Life service will be Saturday, August 19, 2023, at Forest Hills Baptist Church, 2101 Old Hickory Blvd., Nashville, TN, at 3:00pm in the Elevate Worship Center with visitation from 2:00-3:00pm.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers memorials be made to the Kay and Ben Hauk Scholarship Fund at BrightStone, a residential and job training program for adults with special needs. Memorials may be sent to: BrightStone, c/o Diane Frazier, PO Box 682966, Franklin, TN 37068 or online at brightstone.org/hauk.