Audrey Catherine (Cathy) Cross Jones Hawley, of Montclair, died peacefully on Monday, May 25. She was 75.
Audrey was the fifth of six children, born on July 10, 1944, to Samuel Weldon Cross Sr. and Dorothy Elizabeth Clarke Cross in Summit. She graduated from East Orange High School.
She married and moved to Montclair with her first husband, Irving L. Jones, in 1966. In 1992 they divorced; from this union, a daughter, Nurisha V., and a son, Irving Kyle, were born.
Audrey worked in various positions for years, first at Hudson Pharmaceuticals Inc. and then with the state Department of Insurance, Division of Weights and Measures. In 1982 she joined the Montclair Building Department as the person who analyzed blueprints and issued construction permits; she eventually rose to the position of control person.
In 1994 she upgraded to a different section within the Building Department as a property maintenance, housing and zoning inspector. She held state certifications as a multiple dwelling and hotel inspector and as a fire official.
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After 25-plus years with the township, she retired in 2007.
Audrey was a very notable and outspoken community activist and held various and key volunteer positions in organizations such as the Montclair Residential Preservation Group, the Township of Montclair liaison to the Montclair Community Intervention Alliance, life member and secretary of the Montclair branch of the NAACP through four administrations, co-founder of the Concerned African American Parents (CAAP), co-coordinator of the first Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Summit, held in 1993 at Glenfield School, Fourth Ward Action Committee, Montclair Community Alliance-Project Oasis, Moving Montclair 4ward, and the Montclair Township Employees Total Quality Management Training Team, the first team that initiated the videotaping and televising of Township Council meetings.
For decades Audrey was a consistent, vocal fixture at council, Board of Adjustment, Planning Board, Board of Education, and Montclair Civil Rights Commission meetings. She has been listed in “Who’s Who of Women in New Jersey.”
She received Freedom papers and was made a citizen of London, England, in 2003.
Audrey was a survivor of a cancer that led in 2010 to an above-the-knee amputation, which did not slow her.
She met the man who was eventually to become her second husband, Jarvis E. Hawley, in 1990. Jarvis, although he was a Montclair firefighter, was temporarily working for the township as a property maintenance, housing, and zoning inspector next to her office.
At their first meeting they did not mesh; he was not impressed and did not like her at all. It took seven months for her to develop a casual talking friendship with him. She prevailed, and they became the best of inseparable friends. People would tease them by saying that when they only saw one, they would only have to look in any straight line to see the other.
Audrey and Jarvis got engaged in 1993. In 1994 they became members of St. Matthew A.M.E. Church, Orange. In 1998, they were married by the Rev. Reginald T. Jackson at St. Matthew’s.
Audrey loved making jewelry, cooking, camping, walking, trying out new restaurants, and planting flowers. She also loved genealogy and was a master Christmas decorator.
Most of all she loved traveling with Jarvis; they visited 17 different countries. They also drove cross-country twice, and she visited 49 states, with only Alaska left, which she planned to do in July 2019 but was delayed by a stroke. One of her fondest memories in traveling was when her grandson, D’Andre, went cross-country in 2008 with them; at age 10, D’Andre had visited 48 states.
Audrey is survived by her best friend of almost 30 years and her loving and devoted husband of 22-plus years, Jarvis; her daughter, Nurisha V. Jones; her son, Irving Kyle Jones; two grandsons, D’Andre and I. Kyle Jr.; a sister, Virginia Cross; her mother-in-law; three brothers-in-law; two sisters-in-law; and host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, friends, and admirers.
She was predeceased by her mother and father; her two brothers: Samuel Cross and Richard Cross; two sisters, Muriel Yancey and Joan Lambert; and her former husband, Irving L. Jones.
In lieu of flowers, send donations to the N.J. Amputee Walking School, to your favorite cancer or stroke research organization, or to the church of your faith. After the pandemic is over, a memorial may be planned at a date to be determined.