TEMPLE, NH - Deborah A. (Stein) Hawkins, 74, passed away peacefully onWednesday, June 24, 2020 at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Massachusetts following an admirable struggle against time and illness.
Deborah was born in Stamford, Connecticut, the daughter of Richard and Genevieve (Brundage) Stein. She grew up in Princeton, Massachusetts and graduated from Wachusett Regional High School, in Holden, Massachusetts in 1964.
Deborah earned her nursing license at Westborough State Hospital and worked as an LPN for over 20 years. In addition to providing medical care in her work as anurse, Deborah sought to provide valued social and emotional support to her patients - aspects of nursing that always resonated with Deborah, as care provider, and finally as patient.
In 1968 Deborah married Tom Kasprzak of Worcester, Massachusetts. Together they shared 19 years of marriage, living in Yuba City, California, and then Upton and Tyringham, Massachusetts, raising their wonderful, loving son Keith Michael and for the time they had her, their daughter Dawn Marie who predeceased Deborah in 1978 - a loss Deborah carried with her throughout her life.
In 1988 Deborah enrolled as an Ada Comstock Scholar at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts where she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and nurtured the intellectual interests that fed her voracious appetite for living.
In 1989 Deborah celebrated her 25 th Wachusett Regional High School Reunion, reconnecting with old school chums, including her 2nd grade sweetheart, Tom Hawkins. After 4 years of courtship, Deborah married Tom Hawkins then of
Groton, Massachusetts. Together they co-founded and ran Northroad Wood Signs, eventually moving their home and their business to Temple, New Hampshire in 1999, where they worked as a true partnership, complementing one another in all aspects of their business and their life.
Friends and family remember Deborah as a woman of many interests - accomplished in all she set her mind to. Deborah was a gifted artist - painting, quilting and creating many pieces of folk art and beautiful oil paintings for friends and family. While living in Tyringham, Massachusetts Deborah enjoyed volunteering at Hancock Shaker Village and participating in their quilting program. She loved the ocean and in 2009, at age 63, learned to sail and thereafter took great joy in sailing Buzzards Bay with her husband Tom, her sons Keith and Tim and her grandchildren. Deborah found tremendous joy being "Grammie" to all her grandchildren, providing them unconditional love and limitless patience. To her family and her friends Deborah was always a source of comfort and of strength, providing loving and thoughtful counsel to those who sought her out. Deborah was most proud of her son Keith. She greatly admired his optimism, social ease, and his generous nature. These are attributes she valued and was proud to know he too values them.
Among all that was Deborah, her husband Tom will miss most some of the simplest pleasures of their partnership in life - turning business activities, family occasions and life's routine into loving engagement.
Of all that was his mother, Keith draws strength and comfort from his mother's lessons of kindness, patience, sacrifice, and love.
Deborah leaves her loving husband of 27 years (and determined suitor of 68 years!), Tom Hawkins; her four children, Maureen Ward Rejali and her husband, Cameron of Cotuit, Massachusetts, Tim Hawkins of Grafton, Massachusetts, Keith Kasprzak and his wife, Amanda of Westborough, Massachusetts and Stephanie Hawkins and her husband, Dave Merandy of Cold Spring, New York; her brother, Jon Stein of Golden Valley, Arizona; her sister, Barbara Stein Robinson and her husband, James of Rutland, Massachusetts; her daughter-in-law, Wendy Hawkins of Grafton, Massachusetts; nine grandchildren; a great-granddaughter with another great-granddaughter on the way!
Funeral services for Deborah are private. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to Smith College, Ada Comstock Scholarship Program, mailed to Smith College Gift Accounting, Stoddard Annex, 23 Elm Street, Northampton, MA 01063, or online at www.smith.edu/about-smith/giving/ways-to-give
Arrangements are under the care of the Miles Funeral Home, 1158 Main St., Holden, Massachusetts. To share a memory or offer an online condolence, please visit www.milesfuneralhome.com