After a long and industrious life, Frank Benjamin Hawkins, passed away peacefully in his sleep Wednesday evening, October, 31st, 2018. He was surrounded by his loving family in the South Cornish farmhouse where he was born and raised. Frank was preceded in death by his wife of more than 50 years, Theresa Hawkins, and partner of 15 years, Barbara Hadley. He leaves behind four children, Ralph Hawkins married to Diane Hawkins of Sunapee, NH, Catherine Marks, of New Bern, NC, Glenn Hawkins married to Sandra Hawkins of Sunapee, NH and Sherman Hawkins married to Carol Hawkins of Roswell, GA. Frank also leaves eight grandchildren, Kathryn Marks, Benjamin Marks, Benjamin Hawkins, Melissa Hawkins, Seth Hawkins, Jesse Hawkins, Adam Hawkins, Connor Hawkins. He also had one great grandchild, Logan Hawkins. Frank also maintained many lifelong friendships up to his passing.
Starting life just before the Great Depression, Frank was an avid story teller of growing up on the hillside farm, often recounting how he pulled the first automobiles out of the mud with a pair of horses in the spring for a nickel or dime and running out of the school house to watch the first airplanes fly the New Hampshire sky. Frank spent time in the Navy as a member of a flight crew flying to South America. While starting his own family on the farm, he built another small house on the farm with his father for his parents, and transitioned out of farming full time. He spent most of his working career driving busses, trucks, and finally operating heavy equipment. He was a longtime member of the Union of Operating Engineers Local 98. No one spoke more highly of the Union than Frank Hawkins, often telling of them getting him work within a few days of the latest job being completed. Operating large bulldozers, Frank’s resume includes the groundwork for the Budweiser plant in Merrimack, NH, parts of Interstate 89 and 91, Route 7 across Vermont, Route 101, and a long gravel highway in Alaska. While working long hours and raising a family, Frank also became a Master Mason more than 50 years ago. His retirement project, turning the old dairy field into a Christmas tree farm, has become a local landmark for affordable cut-your-own trees. Employing and teaching his grandchildren the virtues of hard work on the farm, Frank was an illustration of old New England Yankee ingenuity, often fabricating and welding scrap steel into various one-of-a-kind agricultural implements. Even into the last months of his life, his family, friends, and neighbors would shake their heads as they watched him climb on his tractor to get one more thing done on the farm.
The family will receive relatives and friends for a time of remembrance and sharing at the Roy Funeral Home, 93 Sullivan Street, Claremont, NH beginning at 11:00 am on Saturday (Nov. 3). In lieu of flowers the family suggests that memorial contributions be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, 1120 G Street NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20005, www.woundedwarriorproject.org.
You are invited to share a memory of Frank with the family or leave a message of condolence in the family guest book at www.royfuneralhome.com. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Roy Funeral Home and Cremation Service.
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