John "Bud" Druse Hawk

May 30, 1924November 4, 2013
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John Druse Hawk was born May 30, 1924 to Lewis and Margaret Hawk in San Francisco, California. He moved with his parents and two sisters to the Rolling Bay area of Bainbridge Island, WA where he started school in the third grade. He spent a lot of his childhood exploring the back roads and woods of the island and fishing in the bay. In high school he participated in football and sang in a men’s glee club.

He graduated from Bainbridge Island High School in June of 1943 and two weeks later, joined the U.S. Army. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 359th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry, serving under then Lt. General George S. Patton. For action during battle around Chambois, France, he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor which was presented to him by President Harry S. Truman in Olympia, WA. During his service years he was awarded 4 Purple Hearts, the Bronze Star, Distinguished Conduct Medal from the U.K. Later in life he was inducted into the French Legion of Honor.

Returning to Kitsap County for recuperation, he was treated to a parade in his honor which initiated what is now known as the Armed Forces Day Parade nationwide. Here he met his future wife, Natalene Crandall and they were married June 18, 1948.

He started to further his education at Olympic College, transferring to the University of Washington graduating with a degree in biology and obtaining his teaching certificate. His first teaching position was with Central Kitsap School District at Tracyton Elementary School. Next he transferred to Brownsville Elementary where he taught 6th grade and soon became principal. He was there many years before opening the new Woodlands Elementary as its first principal. He loved teaching and especially supporting his teachers who he claimed were the best staff in the district. He retired in 1983 after 31 years in the profession and set about remodeling his house for his wife. She died in 1985. He continued his love of teaching by educating young military personnel at Joint Base Lewis-McCord, instilling them with a sense of pride and patriotism. He never turned down the chance to speak to public school students and in their classrooms. His stress release was cooking, gardening, woodworking and woodcutting. He also loved to spend time on the water fishing which gave him time to relax and reflect on the world. He also loved to listen to country music, drive around in his truck and spend time on the water.

His family was always the glue that held everything together for him. His first born son, David, died in 1956. His daughter, Marilyn Harrelson (David) and grandson, Brendan, live in Federal Way, WA and son, Mark (Bob Ross) lives in Des Moines, WA. His sister, Dolores Clayton resides in Longview, WA. Numerous members of his extended family cherish wonderful memories of him and the fact he always would reach out to help any way he could. He was as proud of what he accomplished as an educator as he was as recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. He considered himself to be just an everyday guy. As he said in one of his many public speeches, “I came when I was called and did the best that I could.”

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his honor to Puget Sound Honor Flight, PO Box 434, Grapeview, WA 98546 or Bremerton Teen Center, 3102 Wheaton Way, Bremerton, WA, 98310, contact person is Stacy Dore’ at 360-440-3735.


  • Honor & Remembrance Ceremony Monday, November 11, 2013

John "Bud" Druse Hawk

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Tedd Hadley

August 20, 2014

I am serving in the US Air Force at Pease NH. I run our daily maintenance briefings and every morning I add in a slide covering a day in history or other interesting fact.
Today, when preparing my slide, I came accross the story of John Hawk's medal of honor citation. I will be presenting it in just a few minutes to the maintenance group at 157th ARW.
It is great Americans like John who have exhibited the greatest extent of courage, valor and selflessness that allow the rest of us to enjoy the quality of life we have today.
His life was one full of meaning. We mourn him today.

Catherine Berns-Ghylin

March 9, 2014

First of all, Thank you for your service. You were one of my heroes. I really miss you Bud. You were like my second dad. If only I had known you when my dad was alive. You two would have gotten along great. Well, hopefully now you're both sitting by a stream fishing away and talking about the good old days!

Catherine Berns-Ghylin

November 20, 2013

Bud was like a second father to me. His daughter, Marilyn, even gave me permission to call him Dad, but I never did. I wish I had known him when my father was alive though. They would have gotten along great. Both were in the Army. Both liked to fish. And, they both had a great sense of humor and bright blue eyes! My deepest condolences to Marilyn and Mark, and the rest of the family. Bud will be greatly missed.

kari crandall Thornton

November 18, 2013

May uncle bud rest in peace. Wish I could have been able to come. I am praying for you Marilyn and Mark. Love,your cousin Kari.

Gail Smith

November 14, 2013

My condolences to the Hawk family. I am the P.E. teacher at Cottonwood Elementary and still use the vaulting box and balance beam he made back in the the late 70's. I always think of him when I'm using the equipment. He gave so much to Central Kitsap School District students and staff in soooooo many ways. Thanks Bud and may the angels be with you. Gail Smith (Chimacum, WA)

Kathy Conner

November 12, 2013

I attended Brownsville Elementry from 1956 to 1962. Mr. Hawk was my principal and my teacher in the 5th and 6th grades. Late in 1961, Mr. Hawk had to leave us and go to President Kennedy's inaugoration and he took the train which meant a long trip. We were a tight class since we had been together since the 1st grade and Mr. Hawk told us that he just 'knew' that we would be OK in his abscence. We were until the last week...then we started throwing erasers at each other and being uncooperative. When he got back, he tried everything. He talked to us, he deciplined us, he even brought in his medal of honor and showed it to us...nothing changed our behavior or attitudes. In March it stopped raining and the sun actually came out. He told us to close up our math books and to count off by 4 and line up at the door. He gave us the following instructions: as a group, go out and make some device that would allow all of you to escape by water from the Brownsville dock (in the event of a nuclear war if hiding under our desk's didn't work, I guess). You have 15 minutes, you can not break anything or leave the school property. We went out, one kid thought we could all survive by standing in a garbage can, floating away. We had to be a group, so we decided to lash 6 cans together with jump roaps. Another kid ran and got the jump roaps from the gym wall and we tied the garbage cans together with the fancy knots that Mr. Hawk had taught us. We were well done and back inside within the15 minutes. Mr. Hawk called in the others and we talked about what worked and what didn't. Our group went first: we cooperated with each other, supported each idea and put it to use very fast and got done quickly. The next group had a strong leader, they argued and got nothing accomplished. The other 2 groups had no leadership and all of the kids just ran without any direction and accomplished nothing. This is what I learned that day: partnering with another person is the best thing we can do. Together we can accomplish more than we could do singly. Support ideas with actions, move on it and get it done. Projects can always be tweaked along the way, but get moving. I learned the basics of teamwork and success building on that sunny March day. I became an Occupational Therapist and worked for 40 years. Every day I worked, I used those same principals. My career success was set in motion on that March day by that (and other) examples of how Mr. Hawk taught: by experiences. I experienced his work ethic, I embraced it and it became my own. I owe many things to Mr. Hawk...this is a small sample. He helped shape us into what we became and we are the better for it. Thank you Hawk Family for sharing Mr. Hawk with us....

Henry Henneman

November 11, 2013

My Condolences to the Hawk Family. I attended Brownville Elementary School from Kindergarten thru Fifth grade(1967-1973). When he was the Principal. I still recall that he was kind and caring person, always smiling. I am grateful for his service and sacrifice for our county and the life lessons.

Candace Rasmussen

November 11, 2013

I read about your father in the New York Times this morning, and I wanted to get in touch because my father was at the Falaise gap, not in your father's unit, but he was there, and he always said it was worse than the Battle of the Bulge. I read about your father and I cried. We will miss those heroes.

Michael Vineyard

November 11, 2013

SGT Bud Hawk was a great guy who was willing to meet and share with 'students' of all ages, including Cadets, junior military in training, etc. He was witty and humble, and I am honored to have met the man. I had him come in to speak to Navy Reserve officers on leadership, and leadership in stressful situations. He was always willing to come and speak, and everyone attending loved hearing him.


Brent Wolf

November 11, 2013

My condolences to the Hawk Family. I attended Brownsville Elementary School and remember from a very early age your father being a WW II hero. I will never forget his smiling face or his stern voice"Eat your Spinach". He was always my hero and I will surely miss him. RIP Mr. Hawk.
Brent Wolf