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HAWKINS, UNITED STATES SENATOR PAULA, 82, of Winter Park, Florida passed away Friday, December 4, 2009. Senator Hawkins was born January 24, 1927, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Paul Burt Fickes and Mary Leoan Staley. She was the oldest of four children. Her father was in the Navy and the family lived in Long Beach, CA, Hawaii, Jacksonville, FL and Atlanta, GA. It was in Sunday school class in Atlanta, Georgia that she met Walter Eugene Hawkins, who would become her husband. They married in Logan, UT, where Paula was a student at Utah State University. They initially lived in Atlanta and then moved to Winter Park, FL, in 1954. After building a new home in Maitland, Paula was surprised to find there was no sewer system in the town. She urged her neighbors to elect a mayor and council who would support this improvement for the city. They were successful and sewers were soon installed. Thus began her love for "grass roots" politics. In 1968, Paula was elected Republican National Committeewoman for the State of Florida. This was a position she held until 1986. She served as a delegate to five consecutive Republican National Conventions. In 1972, Paula was elected as one of three members of Florida's Public Service Commission which regulated monopolies in Florida that provided electricity, water, telephone and transportation. She earned the nickname "The Battling Maitland Housewife" through her strong advocacy of consumers' rights. In 1976, Paula became the first Republican to be reelected to political office in the state of Florida. In 1980, Paula was elected to the United States Senate. She was the first woman elected from Florida to the Senate and the first woman in the country elected in her own right (not following a father or a husband) to the Senate. In the Senate she became a very effective champion of children and families, authoring the legislation that established the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. She also authored legislation establishing Radio Marti and legislation that provided innovative ways for displaced housewives and mothers to re-enter the work force. She was also well known for her strong and innovative actions to fight the importation and trafficking of illegal drugs. Paula and Gene were married for 62 years and are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They have three children: Genean McKinnon (Joel) of Winter Park and Montreal; Kevin (Jean) of Denver; and Kelley McCoy (David) of Winter Park; sister, Carole Wright of Sacramento, CA; eleven grandchildren and ten great grandchildren. A gathering for family and friends will be held Wednesday, December 9th from 6 to 9 p.m. at Baldwin Fairchild Ivanhoe Chapel. Funeral services will be held Thursday, December 10th at 11 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints, 45 East Par Street, Orlando, FL, with interment immediately following at Palm Cemetery in Winter Park, FL. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to: The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 699 Prince Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Arrangements are being handled by BALDWIN FAIRCHILD
IVANHOE CHAPEL 301 NE Ivanhoe Blvd., Orlando, FL 32804. (407) 898-8111 Please view and sign the family
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Published in the Orlando Sentinel on Dec. 6, 2009
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