Rev. Ernest Dalton Hawkins, 83, died May 20, 2009, at his residence in Beaufort, S.C. Rev. Hawkins was born in Kennett on Aug. 4, 1925, to the late Nathan and Dovie Berry Hawkins. He was the fourth of five children.
After spending his childhood in southeast Missouri, he was drafted into the Army shortly after his 18th birthday in 1943. His short tour of duty was spent on the frontlines in Europe during World War II. As a sharpshooter, he, along with thousands of other young soldiers, invaded the Omaha Beachhead in Normandy, France on D-Day in 1944. He was wounded twice during that invasion and spent the next several months in hospitals in England. He was honorably discharged later that year and was awarded the Purple Heart for his sacrifice.
When he returned to Missouri, he married Freida Louise Fuller in Kennett on Nov. 1, 1946. They celebrated 53 years together before she preceded him in death on Feb. 1, 2000. Three children were born to this union.
In 1956 Rev. Hawkins entered the ministry. For over 50 years he pastored Southern Baptist churches in Michigan, Illinois, Arkansas, Texas and South Carolina. His greatest joy was telling others about his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
On Aug. 4, 2001, he married Mary Markwood Jamison of Beaufort. They enjoyed almost eight years together. She survives.
In addition to his wife, Mary, Rev. Hawkins is survived by many family members: two daughters, Karen Hawkins, of Beaufort and Sharon Hawkins Lewis and husband, John, of Joplin, Mo.; one son, Michael Hawkins and wife, Elisa, of Richland, Mo.; three grandchildren, Shannon Smith, Kristen Hawkins and Kelsey Hawkins; two great-grandchildren, Sydney and Carsyn Smith; Mary's three daughters and their families; Carol Ritter, Christine Hofmeister and Ellen Kauffman, of Ohio; two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
He is also survived by one brother, Alva Donald Hawkins, of Poplar Bluff, Mo., and one sister, Madeline Jackson, of Jonesboro, Ark.
Rev. Hawkins was preceded in death by his grandson, Cody Dalton Hawkins; one brother, Cletis Hawkins and one sister, Della Richards.
The family will receive friends from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., today, Friday, May 22, at Anderson Funeral Home in Beaufort.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, May 23, at the Meadowbrook Baptist Church with burial in Beaufort National Cemetery with military honors.
Anderson Funeral Home is serving the family during this time.
Donations may be made to the Meadowbrook Baptist Church, P.O. Box 118, Beaufort, S.C. 29901 or Hospice Care of the Lowcountry, P.O. Box 3827, Bluffton, S.C. 29910.