Phyllis J. Hawkins
May 27, 1917 – June 7, 2019
Phyllis Jane Hawkins, 102, of Las Vegas passed away peacefully June 7, 2019. She was born May 27, 1917 in New Effington, South Dakota, lived in Sweden for a couple of years when she was a young child and grew up outside of Chicago in Calumet City, Illinois throughout her school years. She was the first-born daughter of Elford and Dora Nelson. Phyllis was a smart businesswoman, a meticulous seamstress and a woman who loved nature, the great outdoors and spending time with her family at her cabin on Cedar Mountain.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband Harley C. Hawkins, her sister Shirley M. Fratt and her daughter Pamela J. Hawkins. She is survived by her second-born daughter Marcia L. Hawkins of Las Vegas.
In 1942 when she was 25 years old, Phyllis came to Henderson, Nevada to accept a position as executive secretary to the plant manager at Basic Magnesium, Inc. BMI was manufacturing magnesium during World War II and Phyllis was proud to support the war effort.
Phyllis and her husband Harley owned H. C. Hawkins & Associates, Inc., a life and health insurance agency that they started in the 1940s in Henderson, NV where they met. They moved the business into Las Vegas in the 1950s and initially leased office space on Fremont Street and later in the United Mortgage Building on Las Vegas Boulevard in downtown Las Vegas. The agency served thousands of Las Vegas clients over the course of nearly three decades. After her husband passed away in 1968, Phyllis continued to operate her life and health insurance agency for many years until her daughters had both graduated from UNLV.
A founding member of the First Presbyterian Church of Las Vegas, Phyllis enjoyed her active membership in the early years. She believed in the importance of the arts and supported dance and music education. She was an enthusiastic Girl Scout Leader, she enjoyed traveling to National Parks with her adventurous sister and her girls and believed that a camping trip was good for the soul and one of the best ways to have fun.
Because her mother was a menswear tailor and her father was a white collar business executive for Ford Motor Company in the 1920s and 30s, Phyllis grew up with a sense of style. She understood the nuances of fabric and admired perfectly-tailored clothes and was quick to point out a well-dressed man when she saw one. She had a lot of gumption and a stick-to-it attitude about everything she started. She enjoyed investing in recreational land, residential real estate and professional office space and she held on to her properties throughout her lifetime. A dedicated mother who inspired her girls to be successful, she was adored and deeply respected by both of them. Phyllis leaves behind a beautiful legacy. She made this world a better place.
- Visitation Thursday, June 13, 2019
- Funeral Service Friday, June 14, 2019
- Committal Service Friday, June 14, 2019