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Dr. Ralph G. Hawkins

Thursday, March 1, 2012

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

Hawkins was born on June 12, 1930 and died in his home with family on Feb.15, 2012 from Alz-heimer's. He is a 13 -year survivor of multiple myeloma. Hawkins will be missed by his family and friends. Dr. Hawkins was a long-time, dedicated student and educator of students and colleagues. Dr. Hawkins first graduated from Portageville, Mo., High School in 1949. Before continuing his educational passion, Hawkins 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 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 BS MA degree from Pittsburg State College. In 1957 he moved the family to Portageville, Mo., where Hawkins worked with his father and brother at the Portageville Missourian Newspaper.

In 1962 he purchased the Gideon and Clarkson Mo., 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)in Springfield, Mo., as Director of Educational Media Services, where he helped to establish the Educational Media Department.

Dr. Hawkins earned his Doctor of Education from the University of Arkansas in 1979. Then he finished his years at Missouri State University teaching until his retirement. Hawkins retired in 1996 after 28 dedicated teaching years.

He 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 is 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, daughter Kim Lewis and husband Bob, and son Michael and wife Cathy, 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 2 great grandchildren, Kylie and Noah. Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society and Alzheimer's Association. Services were held Feb. 21, 2012 at Gorman-Scharpf Brentwood Chapel in Springfield, Mo. Very special thanks to Hospice Compassus and Oxford Health Care for their wonderful and sensitive care.

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