Arthur Hawkins, 99, of Benton Harbor passed away Monday, Jan. 1, 2024 with his family by his side.
He was born June 9, 1924 in Frankfort, OH; the sixth of eight children born to Enoch and Elizabeth Hawkins. In 1943 he entered the Army Air Corp (later the United States Air Force) where he served for 34 years. His military career spanned WWII and the Korean and Vietnam wars, and allowed him to live in every U.S. state except Maine. After his retirement from the Air Force, Arthur worked at Gast Manufacturing as a timekeeper, retiring in 1985.
Arthur served for 27 years as a member of the Berrien County Committee of Michigan Veterans Trust Fund and 16 years with Soldiers and Sailors Relief; he enjoyed helping his fellow Veterans find and access resources they needed. He also served as Chaplain as a member of the Disabled Veterans of America, Twin Cities #17.
In his spare time Arthur enjoyed tinkering, particularly on his lawnmower, yard work, spending time with family and catching up with neighbors and friends. He could fix anything, especially if he had a 2x4 handy. Arthur loved to tell stories and jokes - sometimes his delivery made you unsure if it was a story or a joke until the punch line, to the delight of his family. Arthur made sure his shoes were shined every morning before leaving the house.
Arthur was not only an American Hero, but a hero in his family’s eyes as well. Above all, Arthur loved his family.
He is preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Fannie Hawkins, his mother and father, three sisters, four brothers, daughter-in-law Doris Hawkins, and one great-grandchild, Donavan Tyler Hawkins.
He is survived by two sons, Charles Hawkins of Chillicothe, OH and Randy Hawkins of Elizabethtown, KY; two daughters, Margie (Jeff) Lodge of Lake Ann, MI and Theresa (Joe) Becker Jr., of Covert; eight grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren and Sophie, his 17-year-old cat.
Funeral services will take place at 11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 5 at Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home in Coloma with visitation beginning one hour prior to the service. A private burial will take place at Ft. Custer National Cemetery in Battle Creek.
It was Arthur’s wish that if friends so desired memorial contributions could be made to America’s VetDogs, a charity providing Veterans with service dogs.
Those wishing to leave an online message for the family may do so at www.duffieldpastrick.com.