Our hero, William Dale Hawkins, 90 years loved, entered into the presence of his Hero, Jesus Christ, Friday evening, September 27, surrounded by his adoring family.
Dale was born in Paducah on February 4, 1929, the oldest son of Otis William and Bessie Mae Hawkins. His amazing life was devoted entirely to his three loves – his God, his family, and his country, in that order. He became a Christian early in life and was a life-long member of Oaklawn Baptist Church, where he taught in the children and youth departments for many years, faithfully teaching and sharing his faith to so many young lives. As one of ten children raised during the Great Depression, he contributed greatly to and benefitted greatly from the closeness that blessed his family as they endured the struggle of the days. And that closeness exists to this day with his siblings, and within the family legacy he built with the true love of his life and wife of 69 years, Patricia Ann (Owens) Hawkins.
Dale was a faithful employee of the Pennwalt Corporation, retiring in 1989 after thirty years of service. His preferred career however was building and maintaining his mini-ranch, the “Hawkins Pinedorosa”, where his joy was in seeing what livestock he could raise, what crops he could grow, and what structures he could build just with materials he had laying around. He taught his sons (and sometimes the neighborhood kids) the value of hard work and perseverance.
Our hero served his country honorably during the Korean War, receiving, among other medals, the Purple Heart from wounds suffered during the battle of Porkchop Hill. His wartime memories and stories have brought alive to those who knew him the sacrifices made by him and countless others to maintain the God-given freedoms we have inherited. He was proud of his country and his service to her and instilled in us the same love and gratitude for the costly blessings we have.
In addition to Patsy, Dale is survived by his sons, Steve Hawkins (Michelle) and Darren Hawkins (Lisa), both of Paducah, six grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. Also surviving are brothers Glenn, Charles Wayne (“Chili”), Gaylon, and Leon, all of Paducah, and Kenneth Ray of West Plains, Missouri, sister Nedra Cole of Benton, and many nieces and nephews. Gone to Heaven before him in addition to his parents are sisters Eudell Prince, Eva Mae Freeman, and Lillian Henry.
Visitation will be held at Hughes Funeral Home from 5 pm to 8 pm on Sunday, September 29, and the celebration of life for Dale will take place at Oaklawn Baptist Church on Monday, September 30 at 1 pm, with Rev. Tim Cole and Rev. Willis Henson officiating. An additional visitation will be held after 11 am Monday at the church.
Expressions of sympathy may be made to Oaklawn Baptist Church, 500 Oaks Rd., Paducah, KY 42003.