Lewis E. (Gene) Hawkes was born in Lillian, Idaho (near Ashton) on Feb. 3, 1927 and passed away quietly in Bozeman, Montana on Feb. 15, 2015 at the age of 88.
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He was raised on a small farm near Drummond, Idaho and attended school in Ashton until his graduation from high school in 1944. He then volunteered for the Navy in 1944 and served until discharged in 1946.
Growing up in rural Idaho he developed a love of the outdoors and wild places. So after the Navy he went to college to study forestry, graduating with a bachelor's degree in forestry from Utah State in 1951.
He had worked some temporary jobs for the U.S. Forest Service when he was younger and loved the work, so after graduation he started his career with the Forest Service. As part of a continuing education program he returned to college in 1964 and received a Masters Degree in Public Administration in 1965. He had many postings while working for the Forest Service with all but one being in the western U.S. (the one exception being four years at the headquarters of the Forest Service in Washington D.C.). In 1973 he moved to Bozeman to assume the position of Forest Supervisor of the Gallatin National Forest, a position he held from 1973 to 1980. He then moved to Missoula to become the Energy Resource Coordinator for Region 1 until his retirement in 1982.
Gene always believed in public access to public lands so after retirement he founded the Public Lands Access Association, Inc. (later changed to Public Lands/Water Access Association, Inc.) in 1986. PLAAI (now known as PLWA) is an organization dedicated to ensuring that the public continues to have access to public lands and waters.
He is survived by his wife Joyce, a collection of children and step-children including Marc Hawkes, Val Weaver, Steve Jackson, Terry Jackson, Bonnie Jackson, David Allard, Dana Webb, in addition there are a number of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held in Ashton, Idaho around the end of May.
Memorials may be made to The Public Lands/Water Access Association, Inc., P.O. Box 80987, Billings, MT 59108.
Condolences or questions about the memorial service may be sent to the family at email@example.com.
Dahl Funeral Chapel
300 Highland Boulevard
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Feb. 22, 2015