For The Hawatmeh Family
A tribute to Diana and Jojo
December 1, 2020
On Tuesday, November 3, tragedy struck the beloved Hawatmeh family after a fatal incident in Henderson, Nevada, unfortunately taking the lives of Diana Hawatmeh (mother) and Joseph “JoJo” Hawatmeh (son). As the Juan Diego community comes together to comfort each other after this devastating incident, the Speaking Eagle staff hope to capture a glimpse of who these amazing people were and the impact they had during their time at the Skaggs Catholic Center.
“Wonder Woman”: Diana Hawatmeh
Diana Reem Sayegh Hawatmeh was born on September 8, 1981 in Las Vegas, Nevada. After marrying Iehab Hawatmeh, they moved to Sandy, Utah where they gave birth to three wonderful children, Layth (18), Yasmeen (16), and Jojo (12).
She started her career at Saint John the Baptist Catholic Elementary and Middle Schools as a substitute teacher, giving her the reputation from many students as the “best substitute teacher.” Jean Synowicki, principal of Saint John the Baptist Middle School, described Diana as always being very selfless and giving, “She always helped around the school and would volunteer. She would be the first person to want to donate if we were doing a drive—she always wanted to help.”
Despite being a substitute teacher, Diana also instructed Zumba lessons in her spare time. “For a long time,” Galey Colosimo, principal of Juan Diego Catholic High School, said, “she was offering Zumba classes to our elementary teachers after school.” Along with this, Diana began her own clothing line, Nafas Activewear, which means to breathe. “Her style was always the best looking,” Meera Hawatmeh, niece to Diana, said. This is shown in her clothing line with her goal to create a comfortable but also chic set of clothes.
“My aunt, Diana, was known as Wonder Woman,” Hawatmeh continued. “The one thing she would always do was make sure that everyone was completely happy all the time. She loved, cherished, and really had an effect on everyone’s lives.” Diana was known as a hospitable person. In August of 2017, she donated beanies to keep families warm during the winter time for every Nafas purchase.
“Diana’s Miracle”: Jojo Hawatmeh
Joseph “Jojo” Iehab Hawatmeh was born on February 17, 2008. Born premature, Jojo was sometimes referred to in the family as “Diana’s miracle.”
He attended St. John the Baptist Elementary School, where he was involved in high school level classes and basketball. He took an interest in YouTube, basketball, and food. Something everyone noticed about Jojo was his happy energy. “He had this contagious smile,” Synowicki continued, “so when he smiled, it was like the entire room lit up.”
Another special feature about Jojo was his capability of being able to easily connect with others. “He had a special relationship with every person,” Meera Hawatmeh, cousin to Jojo, continued, “whether it was a handshake, a secret language, or a certain laugh. He was there in our lives for only positivity,” Hawatmeh said.
“Both of our angels were too young to go,” Hawatmeh continued. “Me and the rest of my family will continue to support their family and live up their name for the rest of our lives.” Thankfully, Yasmeen Hawatmeh, daughter to Diana, survived through this horrible experience and is in critical condition. “Yasmeen is fighting for her life to keep with us a little piece of both Aunty Diana and Jojo, because they were magnificent,” Hawatmeh finished.
The following day after the incident, the Skaggs Catholic Center honored Diana and Jojo and prayed for Yasmeen’s recovery with a rosary in the Grotto of Our Lady of Guadalupe. “It’s great to celebrate graduation and winning games and being in school plays—we all want that happy side of life—but what’s hard for young people is that it never gets easier in these moments where they are forced to confront situations like these,” Colosimo finished.
The Hawatmeh family invites those wanting to donate to make a contribution to The Road Home, the Homeless Shelter of Salt Lake, in lieu of flowers in memory of Diana and Jojo. All are welcome to donate by clicking here.