Potter Funeral Chapel
228 East Main Street
Emmett, ID 83617
(208) 365-4491
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Neal Hawkins

1922 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Neal E. Hawkins
March 26, 1922 ~ April 24, 2017
Neal E. Hawkins succumbed to "old age and mileage" at his Horseshoe Bend home of 68 years on April 24, 2017 at 95. Born March 26, 1922 in Meridian, Idaho, Neal was the first child of Orien W. and Bertha M. Hawkins. Neal was followed by siblings Lola and Charlie.
After graduation from Eagle High School in 1940, Neal entered the Army in October 1942, serving in the 11th Armored Division. Neal was assigned a half track in California. He accompanied it across the U.S. and subsequently its transport over the Atlantic to England and on to France. Fighting across Europe and culminating in the Battle of the Bulge, he experienced the true horror of the Nazi regime when participating in the liberation of the Mauthausen concentration camp.
During his service, Neal corresponded with Horseshoe Bend native Grace E. Bowers. On his return from the War, they met and were later married on June 2, 1946. Neal started work at Hoff Lumber/Boise Cascade, working 40 plus years there. Together he and Grace raised sons Jim, Terry, and Randy. One of Neal's proudest accomplishments was that all three boys graduated from the University of Idaho without either the parents or children accumulating debt.
Neal is survived by his wife of 70 years, Grace, and children Jim (Tina), Terry (Debbie) and Randy (Kathleen) Hawkins. Loved as a daughter is ex-daughter-in-law, Barbara Hawkins. They have seven grandchildren and 29 great grandchildren. Neal was preceded in death by his parents, siblings and brother-in-law, Clifford Gibbens. The family would like to recognize caregiver, Staci Lane, for her loving service over the last several years.
A graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, April 29, 2017 at the Pioneer Cemetery followed by a luncheon at the American Legion Hall. Services are under the direction of the Potter Funeral Chapel Emmett.
Published in Idaho Statesman on Apr. 27, 2017
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