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Dr. Ralph Hawkins

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Dr. Ralph Hawkins
Dr. Ralph G. Hawkins, a long-time educator, husband and father died at the age of 81 years.

Hawkins was born on June 12, 1930, and passed away peacefully in his home with family, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 from Alzheimer's. He is a 13 year survivor of multiple myeloma. Hawkins will be missed by his family and friends.

Hawkins was a long-time, dedicated student and educator of students and colleagues. Hawkins first graduated from Portageville, Missouri High School in 1949, before continuing his educational passion. He joined the Air Force in 1951, where he was a photographer. He served four years in the pacific area, proudly serving his country.

In August of 1955, Hawkins married Dorothy June Case in Pittsburg, Kan., beginning a family that has lasted for 57 years. Hawkins shared his father's love of journalism, learning the press trade at the Portageville Missourian in his youth, which guided him in his passion for media. Hawkins earned his BSMA degree from Pittsburg State College. In 1957 he moved the family to Portageville, where he worked with his father and brother at the Portageville Missourian Newspaper. In 1962 he purchased the Gideon and Clarkton Missouri newspapers and moved to Gideon, Mo. In 1964 he accepted his first educator position as Head of Photo Services and Graphics at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kan. In 1966, Hawkins accepted a position at Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, Ill., as Director of Graphics and Supervisor of the Graphics Department. In 1968, Hawkins accepted a position at SMS (Missouri State University) as Director of Educational Media Services, where he helped to establish the Educational Media Department. Hawkins earned his Doctor of Education from the University of Arkansas in 1979. He then finished his years at Missouri State University teaching until his retirement. Hawkins retired in 1996 after 28 dedicated teaching years.

Hawkins had a passion for amateur radio, spending time talking to people around the world on his ham and citizens band radios. Hawkins was also a devoted fan of the Lady Bears and Men's Bear Basketball. He also enjoyed traveling, dancing and Silver Dollar City with his wife. Hawkins was also a devoted Christian, with memberships at Kings Way United Methodist Church and First and Calvary Presbyterian Church in Springfield and most recently at Aldersgate Methodist Church in Nixa, Mo. He is now at peace with the Lord.

Hawkins was a member of the Missouri Association of Education, Communication and Technology; National Association of Educators and Broadcasters; National Audio Visual Association; Amateur Radio League; Phi Delta Kappa; Boy Scout Committee; Kiwanis Club; Tau Kappa Epsilon; Circle K Advisor; and the Springfield Cable Television Advisory Board.

Hawkins was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph N. Hawkins and Marguerite Hawkins Landrem and his sister, Patty Hawkins Kalushe.

Hawkins leaves behind his loving family with brother, Don Hawkins, of Portageville; his long-time, dedicated wife, Dorothy Hawkins; son Randy Hawkins, daughter Kim Lewis and husband, Bob, and son Michael and wife, Cathy, in the Springfield area; son Christopher and wife, Sandi, of Ridgway, Colo.; 14 grandchildren, Zachary, Cody, Shane, Carson, Jessica, Gabby, Stacy, Steven, Bob, Casey, Dillon, Tanner, Lily and Hannah; and two great-grandchildren, Kylie and Noah.

Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society and Alzheimer's Association.

Funeral services were held at 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 at Gorman-Scharpf Brentwood Chapel, 1947 E. Seminole in Springfield.

Very special thanks to Hospice Compassus and Oxford Health Care for their wonderful and sensitive care.