Thomas Eugene Hawks, 83, of Hillsville, Va., died Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, at Twin County Regional Hospital in Galax, Va.
He was born Sept., 24, 1930, to Dixie B. and Grace Cooley Hawks and grew up in Lambsburg, Va., as one of 10 children.
He was also preceded in death by a son, James Paul Hawks; his sisters, Elizabeth Johnson, Mary Alice Martin and Nancy Helton; and brothers, Neal Hawks, D.B. Hawks Jr., and Frank Hawks.
Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Mary Kay Donnelly Hawks of Hillsville, Va.; two children, Michael Thomas Hawks of Hillsville, Va., and Linda Kay Hawks Smith of Woodlawn, Va.; brother, John B. Hawks of Lambsburg, Va.; two grandchildren, Kaitlyn Morgan Smith and Logan Michael Smith, both of Woodlawn, Va.; a son-in-law, Michael Smith of Woodlawn, Va.; and a sister-in-law, Ann Hawks of Lambsburg, Va.
He graduated from Milligan College in Johnson City, Tenn., with a degree in physical education. He was a teacher and school administrator for 34 years and during that time was principal at Laurel Fork School, Independence High School, Fries High School and Bridle Creek Elementary School.
He also worked with school curriculum and developed programs and ran centers for multihandicapped children. He was the first executive director of Rooftop of Virginia Community Agency Program in Galax from 1965 to 1969.
He was a former governor of the Galax Moose Lodge and a member of the Lions Club, Independence and Hillsville chapters, for 57 years.
It is appropriate that he died on Valentine's Day because he left a legacy of love and good will with everyone who knew him.
He was an avid golfer, recording five holes in one during his life, one at each of the five par threes located on the Blue Ridge Golf Club.
He was a lifetime educator and learner, and the greatest compliment he could give anyone was "He's teachable." He maintained good order in his school but approached his job with humor and a sense of adventure. He once told his son that if a man didn't want you climbing his fence, he would have put barbed wire on it.
He was a Sunday school teacher, first at First United Methodist Church in Independence, Va., and later at Hillsville Christian Church and had a lifetime love of the Bible. He was a man of integrity and presented the same face in private as he did in public. He was engaging, honest, fair and always worked for the best in his family, his church and his community.
Funeral services will be held today, Monday, Feb. 17, 2014, at 11 a.m. at the Hillsville Christian Church with the Rev. Amanda Moore officiating. Burial will follow in the Chestnut Grove Cemetery in Lambsburg, Va. The family received friends at the funeral home on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014, from 6 to 8 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Hillsville Christian Church.
A guestbook is available online at www.vaughanguynnandmcgrady.com.
Vaughan-Guynn-McGrady Funeral Home Chapel is serving the Hawks family.