Cleo H. Hawthorne was born December 31, 1912 in rural Prescott, Iowa. His parents were Page L. Hawthorne and Mary Muzetta (Gray) Hawthorne. He attended country school in Dodge Township, Union County and graduated from Prescott High School.
On November 28, 1937 he married Jeanne Craft, until her passing in 1984. Cleo worked at the Farmers Co-Op Creamery in Corning, Iowa. He and Jeanne moved to Kimballton, Iowa where Cleo became the Branch Manager of the Associated Milk Producers Inc. and the Corning Branch Manager of AMPI until his retirement in 1976. Cleo was a former Elder in the Presbyterian Church in Corning, and a member of Instruction Lodge.
On October 28, 1984 Cleo and Leola (Neill-Birt) were married. They lived in Creston, Iowa and Apache Junction, Arizona until her passing in 2014.
Cleo has spent the last 4 years living at the Allen Place in Atlantic, Iowa until his passing on July 19, 2018.
Survivors include daughter Donna Templeton, Atlantic, Iowa, step-son Robert Birt, Essex, Iowa, step-daughter Patricia Freeze, Waukee, Iowa, sisters Linda Key, Atlantic, Iowa, Mildred Tallman, Colorado Springs, Colorado, grandchildren Jo Waters (Larry), Julie Hansen (Randy), Jay Templeton (Kristen), Jamey Mease (Mario), 7 great grandchildren Samantha, Kody, Hailey, Kole, Dayton, Kylie, and Jozlyn. He also has many step-grandchildren and great grandchildren, many nieces and nephews.
Cleo was preceded in death by his parents, first wife Jeanne, second wife Leola, twin brother Clifford, his son-in-law Larry Templeton, step-son Melvin Birt, sisters Zilla Flatt, Beatrice Milleson, Velva Cihak, sisters-in law Emma Hawthorne, Ruth Hogueson, brothers-in-law Ernest Cihak, Ralph Buckner, Basil Flatt, John Magnuson, John Davis, and Gene Tallman.