Carroll Woodard Hawkins
September 18, 1927 – November 8, 2019
Carroll Woodard Hawkins died peacefully in his home, surrounded by his family, on November
8, 2019. He was born in Cove City, NC on September 18, 1927 to James Oscar Hawkins and
Blanche Heath Hawkins and was their only child. He (as were most of the children in Cove City)
was delivered at home by the town doctor, R. O. Milbee who was married to Carroll’s half-sister
Donnie Hawkins Milbee.
Carroll grew up in Cove City where he joined the town’s first Boy Scout Troop and played
baseball in the area leagues. He graduated from Dover High School in 1944 and continued his
education at Oak Ridge Military Academy in Greensboro, NC. Upon completion at Oak Ridge
Academy, he attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he studied
Accounting and played on the Tar Heel baseball team. He enlisted in the United States Navy
after his sophomore year of college and was stationed at Pearl Harbor where he taught physics,
electronics, and played baseball for the Navy. He was an excellent pitcher, outfielder, and hitter
who led the league in doubles.
In 1949, Carroll returned to UNC to complete his education. At a student mixer, hosted by the
the University Baptist Church, he met a young woman from West Virginia named Elinor Dixon
who would later become his wife. Upon earning his BS degree in Business Administration and
Accounting, he began working for the NC Department of Revenue. A few years later, on June
24, 1951, he and Elinor were married in Fairmont, WV and have celebrated 68 years of a
“Happily Ever After” marriage. They welcomed their son, John Carroll Hawkins, to the family
in August, 1960.
Carroll was a career employee with the NC Department of Revenue beginning in Greensboro,
NC, where he worked for seven years, then moving to the New Bern, NC office. He retired in 1984
after 33 years with the Department where he served as an auditor, manager and assistant
director. He developed many advanced audit techniques and traveled throughout the state
providing training to other auditors.
He was a lifelong member of the Core Creek Free Will Baptist Church in Cove City and a
direct descendent of its founder, the Reverend Jeremiah Heath. Carroll was very loyal to the
Church and its members. He served as a Sunday School teacher for over 50 years with the
High School, Young Adult, Adult and Samaritan classes. He also served as a Deacon and was
Chairman of the Deacon Board for the past 15 years. He was a youth leader and baseball
coach for the Cove City Baseball Team in the New Bern Sunday School Baseball League. During
his many years of service to his church, he led several restoration and expansion projects at the
church. He drew the plans for the 1968 major renovation and expansion of the church which included
a new front entrance, vestibule and new classrooms that were needed to accommodate the
growing church family. Carroll helped design the new Fellowship Hall that was completed in 2004
and served as Chair of the Building Committee. He and Elinor helped fund the renovation of the
old fellowship hall converting it into a church library and media center in 2017. The room was
renamed by the church as the Carroll and Elinor Hawkins Christian Learning Center.
Carroll was actively involved in numerous community and Christian organizations. He served
as a Board member for Camp Vandemere, Mount Olive College, First Citizens Bank and The Free
Will Baptist Press. He was treasurer of the Cove City Fire Department for over 30 years and received
several awards for his years of service and dedication. He was a Mason and Past Master of the
Cove City Masonic Lodge, Ionic Lodge #583, where he served for over 60 years. He was also a
member of the Scottish Rite in New Bern.
In his retirement, Carroll became a grandfather, a role in which he excelled. He rejoiced in
the time he spent with his wonderful grandchildren. He spent many of his days working around
the family farm landscaping, planting beautiful flowers, and tending to a large vegetable garden
and orchard filled with fig bushes, grapevines, and fruit trees. He enjoyed all sports such as
fishing, hunting, golf, bowling, and playing bridge. He was a lifelong baseball player, coach, and passionate fan of the UNC Tar Heels and the Boston Red Sox. On his 90th birthday, he was honored by Red Sox great David Ortiz who sent him an autographed baseball.
He was a devoted Christian and he was blessed by the Lord with wisdom, compassion,
and great integrity. He was an amazing father who shared his time and many skills with his
son John and grandchildren Stephen and Leslie. He taught his family to do good unto all and to
“…love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all they soul, and with all thy strength, and
with all thy mind; and they neighbour as thyself.” (Luke 10:27).
Carroll was preceded in death by his mother and father, James Oscar and Blanche Hawkins,
half-sister Donnie Milbee, and half-brother Raymond. He leaves behind his best friend and
beloved wife of 68 years, Elinor D. Hawkins, their son John Carroll Hawkins, daughter-in-law
Kellie Hawkins, grandchildren Leslie and Stephen Hawkins, extended family Steve, Betty, John,
and Alex Gannon of Boston; and his lifelong friend, Wiley Avery and his wife, Barbara. Carroll
leaves behind dozens of cousins and many devoted friends and colleagues.
The family would like to express their deepest gratitude to the wonderful caregiving staff who
have become like family to us: Lou Knapp, Sirron Fields, Ashley Riggs, Robin Leary, Laura
Keys, Jennifer West, Kathy Smith, Lana Green, Debra Hargett, Rev. Blenda Hargett, as well as
the outstanding support of Community Hospice of New Bern and Dr. John Burnette. Their
love, compassion, and dedication provided Carroll with a blessed life in his later years.
We would also like to express a debt of gratitude to our church family and to our outstanding
family physician for 30 years, Dr. Ken Wilkins.
The celebration of the life of Carroll W. Hawkins will be held on Thursday, November 14, 2019
at Core Creek FWB Church, 210 Trenton Rd, Cove City, NC. The visitation will be at the church
at 12:00 followed by the service at 2:00pm. The burial, with Masonic rites, will be at the Cove City
Cemetery immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Core Creek FWB Church, Camp Vandemere
and The University of Mount Olive.
- Visitation Thursday, November 14, 2019
- Funeral Service Thursday, November 14, 2019