Murray Free Hawkins, Jr.
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Baton Rouge - Murray Free Hawkins, Jr., passed away on March 7, 2013 at the age of 95. He leaves as his principal legacies his family, his love for fly fishing, a legion of dedicated former students, the world-renowned textbook Applied Petroleum Reservoir Engineering and the Craft and Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering at Louisiana State University.
Professor Hawkins is survived by his wife of 70 years, Julia Welles Hawkins; his children: Lad Hawkins and wife Mindy of Jacksonville, FL, Warren Hawkins and wife Betty of Houston, TX, and Asheville, NC, Margaret Hawkins Matens and husband Jack of Sewanee, TN, and Julia (Jugie) Hawkins Battle of Sunset, LA; grandchildren: Morgan Matens of Nashville, TN, Murray Matens Kimball and husband Bryan of Chicago, IL, and Cooper Battle and wife Loxley of New Orleans, LA. He is also survived by his twin sister Charlotte Hawkins Fremaux, of Washington D.C., and many nieces and nephews and grand-nieces and grand-nephews. He is pre-deceased by his parents; his sisters Polly Hawkins Whiteknact, Martha Hawkins Martin and Edith Hawkins; his son-in-law, Joe Battle, and granddaughter, Mandy Hawkins.
He was born in 1917 in Cincinnati, OH, to Mary Stone McBryde Hawkins and Murray Free Hawkins, Sr. Hawkins received a B.S. degree in Chemistry in 1938 and an M.S. degree in Physics in 1940, both from LSU. He worked for the Carter Oil Company research laboratories before serving in the South Pacific as an officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was on duty in a small boat in the harbor when Pearl Harbor was bombed. Shortly after, he and Julia were married by telephone, with Hawkins in Pearl Harbor and Julia in Ponchatoula, LA. After the war he joined the research and development department of Ethyl Corporation.
His life-long career and dedication to higher education began when he joined the LSU Department of Petroleum Engineering in 1946. He was a professor of petroleum engineering and director of the LSU Geology Camp in Colorado for many years. He served as head of the Petroleum Engineering Department from 1964 until he retired in 1977 as Professor Emeritus. During his more than 30 years at the university, he had a deep and lasting influence on generations of students and professors who have served important roles in the petroleum industry throughout the world. He also played a significant role in developing the LSU Department of Petroleum Engineering into one of the leading departments in the world. In 1998, alumni were instrumental in having the department that he helped to develop named the "Craft and Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering."
Professor Hawkins was a member of a number of professional and honorary organizations and the author of numerous technical publications. His best known work is the world-renowned textbook Applied Petroleum Reservoir Engineering that he co-authored with his friend and mentor B.C. Craft, Sr. This text has been continuously in print and widely used for over 50 years. It has been translated into many languages, including Spanish, Russian and Chinese, to serve the petroleum industry. The publisher, Prentice-Hall Inc., noted that "such a record of success is exceedingly rare in the publishing business."
He served on numerous boards and commissions and was the recipient of many awards and honors during his career, including the Halliburton Award for Teaching Excellence; The 1976 Mineral Industry Education Medal; The 1979 John Franklin Carl Award; and the 1980 Lester C. Uren Award. He was named an LSU Alumni Distinguished Faculty Fellow, the LSU Foundation Campanile Charities Professor, a Distinguished Member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and was inducted into the LSU Engineering Hall of Distinction in 1985.
Professor Hawkins donated his body to the LSU Medical School. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Condolence messages may be sent to HawkinsRemembrances@gmail.com. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts be made to either the "LSU Foundation in support of the Equipment Fund (Account 101737) of the Craft and Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering" or the "LSU Hilltop Arboretum" in Baton Rouge.
Published in the The Advertiser from Mar. 9 to Mar. 10, 2013