Kenneth Ray Hawkins died October 25, 2023, in West Plains, Missouri, at the age of 88.
He is preceded in death by the love of his life, Ann (nee Wilson) Hawkins; his mother and father, Bessie and Otis Hawkins; his sisters, Eudell Prince, Eva Mae Freeman, and Lillian Henry; his brothers, Dale Hawkins and Leon Hawkins.
Kenneth is survived by his children, Crystal Mattison and husband Ralph, West Plains, Missouri, and William Hawkins, Port St. Lucie, Florida. Three brothers, Glen Hawkins and wife Joretta, Paducah, Kentucky; Charles “Chili” Hawkins and wife Peggy, Paducah, Kentucky; and Galen Hawkins, Paducah, Kentucky; one sister, Nedra Cole, Benton, Kentucky.
Kenneth was a loving grandfather to six grandchildren: Jennifer Gomez, Jupiter, Florida; Lauren Wise, West Plains, Missouri; Stephanie Pearson, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; Wesley Mattison, West Plains, Missouri; BJ Hawkins, Port St. Lucie, Florida; and Patrick Hawkins, Orlando, Florida; ten great-grandchildren: Ashley, Alicia, McKenzie, Brynn, Parker, Brett, Klyer, Jordan, Camden and Brooklyn; and one great-great-granchild, Ariana.
Kenneth was born in Paducah, Kentucky, March 15, 1935. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corp upon graduation from high school and married his high-school sweetheart, Ann, in September 1954. Kenneth spent many years driving a gasoline tank truck in the South Florida area. He worked in the Stuart, Florida, School System for many years where his wife, Ann, worked. This allowed them to travel during the summer months when school was not in session. Kenneth loved traveling and learning about new places. He was a tinkerer and could make anything just by looking at something. He loved to spend time outdoors doing yard work, gardening, whittling, hiking or “exploring.” He loved to sing gospel songs, and he wowed people with his bible rap. Wherever he went, people would gather to hear him.
He was an avid reader. He loved novels and read the paper daily. He would often cut out articles and/or quotes that resonated with him. One such article was a poem by Ellen Brenneman entitled “His Journey’s Just Begun.”
Don’t think of him as gone away, his journey’s just begun.
Life holds so many facets, this earth is only one.
Just think of him as resting from the sorrows and the tears.
In a place of warmth and comfort where there are no days or years.
Think how he must be wishing that we could know, today, how nothing but our sadness can really pass away.
And think of him as living in the hearts of those he touched.
For nothing loved is ever lost, and he was loved so much.
According to Kenneth’s wishes a formal funeral service will not be conducted. A celebration of his life will be planned in the near future.