Earl S. Hawkins, 96, died Saturday, April 16, 2022 at his home surrounded by family. Earl was born in Dummer on April 3, 1926 to Owen and Lois (Young) Hawkins, the oldest of 9 children.
Mr. Hawkins grew up and was educated through the 8th grade at the Willis School in Dummer before being drafted into the United States Army on August 4, 1944. After attending basic training at Camp Blanding, Florida, as a member of the B Co. 222nd Anti-tank BN., Earl was assigned to duty with C Company, 813th Tank Destroyer BN. In the Ardennes Region of Belgium during the last two weeks of the Battle of the Bulge, one that Winston Churchill referred to as "the greatest American battle of World War II". He was part of the US/European/Rhineland Campaign. On July 9, 1946, Earl was honorably discharged from the Army as a Private First Class (PFC), with two Battle Stars, the World War II Victory medal and a Good Conduct medal. Two generations prior to Earl, there were members of the Hawkins family who fought in the Civil War. Earl was very proud of the military heritage of the Hawkins family, which included two brothers, two grandchildren, three great grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives.
After his discharge and returning home, Earl took advantage of the G.I. Bill and entered Berlin High School, where he graduated in 1949 as a 23-year-old combat veteran. From there, and in May of 1950, he was hired by the Brown Company as a scaler, a position he held for 12 years. During that same year, September 30th, he married Lois Turner, a marriage that lasted an incredible 72 years. During their years together, they raised 5 children: Stuart (deceased), Kenneth, Elaine Duguay, Tracey Saulnier, and James (deceased). They were blessed with 10 grandchildren: Matthew, Nathan, Jason, Kyle, Aaron, and Michael Hawkins, Eric Duguay, Shauna Ross, Jeremy Madore and Jennifer Saulnier; 14 great grandchildren and 5 great-great grandchildren. He is also survived by two sisters Muriel Littlehale (Norman) and Ruth Testa; many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. He was predeceased by six siblings: Erma Enman, Barbara Matthews, Phyllis Hawkins, Thelma St. Onge, Everett and Wayne Hawkins.
Other employment in the local paper mill included 6 years at the Floc Plant, and 10 years as a pipe fitter. He retired from the James River Corporation in July of 1988 after 38 years there. Earl kept busy in his retirement years, as a member of the Milan Methodist Church, for a time as a lay-leader, volunteering to drive the elderly around in the church van to various shopping trips, medical appointments and so forth. He was also a volunteer for Senior Meals for a number of years and was a Lifetime Member of the VFW Post 2520 in Berlin.
Earl will be remembered by his many family members, co-workers, friends and neighbors as an honest, hardworking man, with a unique ability to see potential good in all people, while staying positive and grateful when faced with the challenges of life. He loved to laugh and make others laugh, always ready with a quick "story" to start a conversation.
Earl was giving of his time, money, kindness, love, friendship and wisdom. He loved his family, his church, his community, his country and the Boston Red Sox. He was a proud military veteran and a true example of why his generation is referred to as "America's Greatest".
A Graveside Service with military honors will be held on Saturday, April 23, 2022 at 2:30pm at the Hillcrest Cemetery in Milan.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the North Country Home Health and Hospice Agency for all of their services and to the Bryant Funeral Homes for their help.