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Categorized | Obituary

OLNEY LEE HAWKINS

Olney Lee Hawkins, “Hawk”, as he was known by friends and family, went to be with his loved ones in Heaven on Monday, August 29, 2022. He passed away peacefully at his Belmont home, surrounded by his children, he was 91. He was born on August 10, 1931, in Fife Lake, MI to William and Thelma (Snyder) Hawkins. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 49-years, Florence; his parents; his daughter, Patti Jo; his brother, Luther Hawkins, and son-in-law, Larry Britton. He is survived by his daughters, Beth Hawkins (Stu Seling) of Hardy Dam, Susan (Dave) Faber of Conklin, and sons, Kyle Hawkins (Michael George) of Chicago and Jeff Hawkins of Belmont; 19 grandchildren; 31 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren; his sister, Marie Reimus of Gowen; many nieces and nephews; his beloved dog, Max the 3rd as well as his best friend, Billy Bennett and many other lifelong friends. Hawk attended Rockford High School before joining the US Army at age 17. He was a member of the 101st Airborne Division “The Screaming Eagles” during the Korean War. While still enlisted in the Army, he married Florence (Chollar) on February 24, 1951, at Fort Riley, KS. Together they raised five children and cared for many more through the years. After returning home from the Army, he built airplanes for General Motors in Grand Rapids. When a position with Steelcase was offered to him, he accepted and worked in the Chair Division for 35-years, before retiring. He loved anything to do with the outdoors; fishing, hunting, camping, mushrooming as well as being a master gardener. For years he fed his family, neighbors, and many others. He also passed on his gardening and canning expertise to his children and grandchildren, along with so many other valuable life lessons. There wasn’t an animal that he didn’t like, and he was always taking in a stray, even though he said he was not going to have any more pets. He was an avid Rockford High School football fan and attended every home game for years with his brother Luther. Everybody knew where they sat, and they always had lots of visitors at the games. Hawk was also a Saturday morning regular at Sue’s Kountry Kitchen in Cedar Springs, where he enjoyed breakfast with his family and friends, a tradition that will be continued by his family. After his retirement, he spent the next 32-years attending estate sales and auctions as well as selling a truck load of his beloved possessions at the Trufant Flea Market and Auction each week with his nephew Lyle Streeter. His garage was his oasis, where he spent hours tinkering with his treasures and making sure to keep a little bit of everything just in case someone needed it! He was member of the American Legion and a lifelong member of the Walton Junction Sportsman’s Club. There will be a Celebration of Life at the Rockford Community Cabin, 220 North Monroe Street in Rockford, on Sunday, October 02, 2022, from 2:00 p.m. To 5:00 p.m., with a military tribute and sharing of memories of Hawks life at 3:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, his wishes were that donations be made to the Humane Society of West Michigan (give.hswestmi.org), 3077 Wilson Dr NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49534, which was near and dear to his heart, or plant a tree in his name (alivingtribute.org) as a living tribute that benefits present and future generations for decades to come. Hawk impacted so many lives and will be dearly missed by all. We love you, Dad. Hawk’s family welcomes messages and memories in their online guestbook at www.plaisierfuneral.com.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford

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