James Nolan Hawkins
CENTER, TX - James Nolan Hawkins (Jim), 68, of Center, Texas, beloved husband and best friend of Nelwyn Whitley Hawkins for 39 years, passed away peacefully surrounded by the ones he loved, laughed with, and lived for, on Friday, July 05, 2013.
He was preceded in death by his sister, Mary Sue Childers, and his parents, Nolan Hawkins and Dorothy and Al Burnside.
Jim was born in Arkadelphia, AR, on January 19, 1945. He attended Louisiana Tech and received a BA in Business. He faithfully served his country in the Air Force.
Jim loved to travel, buying t-shirts and hats wherever he went and wearing them so he could strike up conversations about his travels. He loved animals and people and talking one on one with others. He constantly made physical contact with many pats or a light backhand to make sure the other person was listening. He valued truth and honesty, and always stressed to Steve and Judy, "Just tell me the truth, and you won't get in trouble with me." Jim had nicknames for almost everyone, rarely using given names, and loved to joke and laugh and frequently used "banshee hollered" as an excuse for not listening or missing something important (Meaning a child screamed, and it wasn't his fault he wasn't listening). Jim had the purest, helpful and compassionate heart, and his loving spirit and sense of humor made the Hawkins' house a welcoming place for friends and family.
Jim enjoyed landscaping, particularly trees and shrubs, and working outside, clearing brush, cutting down trees, and burning really large fires. He was known to leave his chainsaw on the dining room table from time to time. He loved history, ghost stories, the colors of the fall leaves, and riding in the car with the windows rolled down and his arm hanging out.
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord's word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Jim's granddaughter Elizabeth explained it simply. She said, "Papa Jim might die. But he will go to Heaven and get a new body."
Besides his wife Nelwyn, Jim is survived by his daughter Judy Dill and her husband Brian of Dallas, Texas and his son Steve Hawkins and his wife Rachel of Marshall, Texas; his grandchildren, Alex and Rebecca Dill and William and Elizabeth Hawkins; his brother-in-law Bill Childers of Tyler; as well as numerous relatives and friends.
The family would like to express their sincere gratitude to the members of The Hospice of East Texas facility. Their dedication and effort to provide quality care during a difficult time were a heartwarming blessing to the entire family. We thank God for the gift of his life and the blessing of the time we spent with him.
A memorial service will be held honoring Jim on Sunday, July 7, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. at Downs Funeral Home, 4608 Elysian Fields Road, Marshall, TX. Pastor Carlton Burris will officiate. Burial will be at Liberty Hill's Taylor Cemetery in Bienville, LA at the convenience of the family.
Memorial contributions may be made to The Hospice of East Texas, c/o James Hawkins, 4111 University Blvd, Tyler TX 75701-6623; The University of Texas
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, PO Box 4486, Houston TX 77210-4486; or Liberty Hill Memorial Cemetery Association, PO Box 44, Bienville LA 71008.