John Hawaka

January 27, 1935 ~ July 17, 2018 (age 83)

John “Jack” Hawaka, 83, died on Tuesday, July 17, at Princeton Medical Center.  Son of the late Metro and Natalie Hawaka of Perth Amboy, he is survived by his beloved wife of 56 years, Natasha of South Brunswick, his loving and devoted son, Jason, and daughter-in-law, Dawn, of Jamesburg, NJ. He is also survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Rose and Julius Uribe of Ephrata, Penn., his nephew, Scott Uribe and his wife, Gloria, of Glassboro, his niece Lori Pauser and her husband, Bruce, of Ephara, Penn., his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Charles and Marianne Okal of Arlington, Va., and his great-nephews, Justin and Brandon Pauser.  He also leaves his “adopted” son, David Wheatley, his step-grandchildren, Ramie Ewing-Sanchez and Joshua Ewing, his cherished great-granddaughter, Scarlett Wheatley, and many cousins in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. 

Born in Carbondale, Penn., John grew up in Olyphant, Penn., and moved with his family to Perth Amboy in 1952.  As a boy he was a dedicated Boy Scout, earning his requirements for Eagle Scout.  After serving in the Strategic Air Command stationed at Carswell Air Force Base in Texas, he returned to New Jersey and majored in fine art at Montclair State College.  John moved to South Brunswick in 1968 where he and his wife built their cozy cottage in the woods. 

John worked in the advertising department of Hahne & Company in Newark, and as a graphic designer for Lasky Company of Elizabeth.  While in college full time, he also worked as program director at the Boys’ Club of Newark.  He was an art and photography instructor at Kilmer Job Corps Center, after which he taught art at The Source in Milltown, of which he was co-owner.  After working as free-lance graphic designer for Luery, Marks & Strasser in North Brunswick, NJ, he started his own graphic design business in 1973, during which his  artwork graced the covers of many children’s record albums and educational materials.  John retired from his graphic design business in 1993 to devote more time to his love of painting. 

John was a creative and prolific artist, and many of his paintings are in the collections of companies and private owners across the country.  Most recently his work was represented by Alfa Art Gallery in New Brunswick, NJ which sponsored numerous well-received solo exhibitions, and online by FineArtAmerica.  The New Brunswick Jazz Project currently uses a Hawaka painting as its logo.  John’s artistic efforts were not limited to his artwork, but were apparent in many areas.  His creativity extended to building beautiful stone walls that enhanced many of his landscaping projects around his property. 

John was loved by all who knew him and will be dearly missed.  According to his wishes, there will be no funeral and cremation services will be private.  In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made in John’s name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105 or the Salvation Army, P.O. Box 3170, Union, NJ 07083. 

© 2019 Bronson & Guthlein Funeral Home, Inc.. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS