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A.L. Moore-Grimshaw Mortuaries Bethany Chapel

710 West Bethany Home Road, Phoenix, AZ

OBITUARY

Wilbur Frederick Hawkins

March 15, 1928September 18, 2019
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Many things can be said about Wilbur Frederick HAWKINS. Known to friends and acquaintances as a friendly, energetic, empathic and decisive man, his compassionate nature would always shine through, revealing his charm, warmth and conscientious demeanor. He was warmhearted, gentle and organized in all the things he sought to accomplish. Wilbur was a mentor, a natural “teacher” capable of seeing things clearly, leading others and bringing out the best in all of those around him. He generally had a focus on harmony and peace.

His parents were John and Minnie Mae Hawkins. Wilbur was raised in Altoona, Florida. When he was young, Wilbur's friends and family found that “straightforward” and “honest” were perfect words to describe him. Even as a child, Wilbur demonstrated strong qualities of self-confidence, perceptive ability and a disposition that was enjoyable to those around him.

Wilbur grew up with 4 siblings. He had two sisters, Martha Jo and Ellen, and two brothers, Dan and James. Wilbur was constantly involved in all sorts of activities with his family. He was even-tempered, taking care not to get involved in too many family conflicts. This quality served him well, in perpetually bringing harmony, understanding and a sense of peace to the family. Wilbur carried these traits into his adult life and served as one of many reasons why family and friends found him pleasurable and delightful to be around. Wilbur was a person who genuinely understood and cared for others, making powerful connections with those he knew.

As a young boy, Wilbur was imaginative, ingenious, clever and a “novel” thinker. Regardless of whether his peers were older or younger, or came from different backgrounds, Wilbur could easily relate to other kids. He was an active child who took part in coon and squirrel hunting, and fishing while he wasn't helping work the farm. Wilbur was very accomplished in raising animals, baby doves and flying squirrels. However, to Wilbur, the most fun to be had was simply playing and spending time with his many friends.

On May 24, 1952 Wilbur married Janet Ann Patton at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church of Menona, Wisconsin. Compassionate and devoted, Wilbur worked hard to make his new family happy. He was always generous with his time and this meant that Janet came first in Wilbur’s book. He was always caring and made certain that he considered Janet’s feelings. By trusting his emotions, Wilbur did his best to make sure that both the marriage and home life ran smoothly. This is just one more example of how Wilbur was truly a person of empathy.

Wilbur’s quality of being a caring and tolerant person who was very accepting of others translated to being a good father to his children. Wilbur shared these values with his three children, two sons, Steven and David, and one daughter, Kathy. Wilbur was also blessed with seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren, Justin, Tanner, Haley, Jeremy, Jordon, Miles, Carrie, Grace, Ella, Suzie, and Paul. Wilbur related well to children of all ages and was able to connect to them on their level. The children always loved him and he was completely and totally devoted to them.

Wilbur experienced success in his work life over and over again. His primary occupation was was an aerial applicator and commercial sign painter. He worked for over 50 years. Wilbur always made the effort to understand what was needed at work, and was well known by his colleagues as a team player. Wilbur took pride in managing his professional responsibilities and seemed to always know what was necessary to successfully complete a project. Wilbur was one to take the initiative and his skills at working cooperatively were highly valued. Wilbur continually sought to learn what his co-workers did well and how they were most effective, a talent that enabled him to help them develop their own potential.

Wilbur was an Air Force veteran. He was stationed at Truex Field in Madison, Wisconsin. His fellow soldiers knew him as being very resourceful and kind. Wilbur demonstrated personal initiative and valued these same principles in those with whom he served.

Because he was organized and methodical, Wilbur took great pleasure in his various hobbies. His favorite pursuits were gardening, painting in oils and watercolor, carpentry, fishing, and playing guitar in a band called 'Sentimental Journey'. Wilbur enjoyed sharing his passions with others and could singularly focus on one hobby at a time.

Wilbur derived much satisfaction from sports. Because he was so instinctive and could always grasp the big picture, Wilbur delighted in the strategy and inner workings of a competition. Wilbur was also something of a sports fan and enjoyed watching his favorite teams' events whenever he got the opportunity. Tops on his list were football, following the Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys and the Texas Aggies.

Throughout his life, Wilbur was actively involved in professional and community organizations. With a talent for focusing in on exactly what was required to be completed, Wilbur was known to his peers as being able to strengthen any group endeavor. When called on, Wilbur was a natural leader who created harmony and good relationships within the group, often putting his own needs aside. Wilbur’s involvement could easily help structure and organize any part of an organization. An added benefit was Wilbur’s ability to bring valued principles along with him. Throughout his later years, Wilbur was an active member of the Knights of Columbus.

Wilbur’s faith was important to him. He was a member of St Joseph's Catholic Church in Bryan, Texas for over 50 years. During that time, he sang in the choir with his wife. He was compassionate and warm hearted; someone who truly cared for others and that was clearly demonstrated in his work with the congregation.

Though he never did anything solely for individual recognition, Wilbur was given accolades for his many and varied efforts throughout his life. If the truth were known, Wilbur was always a little uncomfortable with being singled out for recognition. Some of his most prestigious awards were granted in local art shows in which he placed first.

Wilbur enjoyed traveling, and because he was so well organized, he would take on the responsibility of planning and scheduling all of the family vacations. His gift for keeping things lively meant that vacations with Wilbur were always enjoyable. Favorite vacations included visiting family in Florida and Wisconsin.

Wilbur was a lover of animals and cherished his pets. One of Wilbur's favorite was Toby, a Fox Terrier. They were best friends for 12 years. His family was rounded out by his three other dogs, Tina, Biscuit, and Dixie.

When Wilbur’s retirement finally came in 1998, he was well prepared. Being the focused and organized person that he was, Wilbur had taken care to plan for this part of his life. When that time eventually arrived, Wilbur knew exactly what he wanted to do. His new life involved relocating to Goodyear, Arizona to be closer to family. In retirement, he found new pleasure in using his computer. Even in retirement, Wilbur continued to stay in touch with his old friends and made plenty of new acquaintances. He was active in the community and felt fulfilled.

Wilbur passed away on September 18, 2019 at an assisted living group home in Goodyear, Arizona. Wilbur died of natural causes. He is survived by a sister and a brother, his three children, seven grandchildren, and four great grandchildren. Services were held at St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Avondale, Arizona. Wilbur was laid to rest next to his wife in Bryan, Texas.

Throughout his life, Wilbur was a gregarious and enthusiastic man. He was generous in sharing his personal attributes, giving and helping those he knew and loved. He would often fill the role of coach, bringing out the best in everyone. He was imaginative, original, tender hearted and easy to get along with. Wilbur leaves behind him a legacy of life-long friendships and cherished memories. Everyone whose lives he touched will dearly remember Wilbur Frederick HAWKINS.

Services

  • Visitation Monday, September 23, 2019
  • Recitation of The Holy Rosary Monday, September 23, 2019
  • Mass of Christian Burial Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Memories

Wilbur Frederick Hawkins

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Victoria Roberts

September 23, 2019

I will always remember Wilbur's smile and engaging personality. His artisitc talent was evident in each piece of artwork he produced. I am proud to display his pieces in my home and in my classroom.

I am so sorry for your loss: Kathy, Don, Jordon, Miles, and Carrie.

Love, Vicky

Steven Lesher

September 23, 2019

Throughout my life I have had the privilege of meeting people who were world leaders , renowned authors, distinguished professors and Mr. Hawkins. Yes I place you Mr. Hawkins with the best of them, you were an essential part of my life. I first met Mr. Hawkins on the back row, right hand side as one would walk in, of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Bryan TX. We were both struggling with the declining health of our wives so it was as though God sat us together so we would be able to share in the Holy Eucharist and help support one another. I know he had a larger impact on me than I him, the roast Mr. Hawkins prepared for supper one evening probably sealed the deal. He certainly could cook. I enjoyed hearing his stories of flying and looking at his paintings. Most importantly it was our conversations regarding Jesus and the desire to walk with Him one day. Mr. Hawkins you enjoy your strolls with Jesus and your reunion with Mrs. Hawkins. I want to thank you for having taken the time to share a small part of your life with me. God be with you and your family.
Friends in Christ always
Steven J. Lesher

Jonathan Hoke

September 23, 2019

Wilbur was a person who genuinely listened to and took an interest in those around him, a lost art that we can learn from him. It was a pleasure getting to know him in the short time we had, discussing everything from painting to space colonization. Wilbur now rests in peace with Him beyond the stars.

Jordon Roberts

September 22, 2019

Many of my childhood memories of my grandfather always centered around his painting studio. It was dark and was covered in model airplanes posed in a mock dog fight covering the ceiling in a way that seemed limitless. His paintings were also all over the walls and it was the U.F.O. painting that always stood out to me. It was creepy, serene, and was given life by his numerous personal accounts with unidentified flying spacecraft that he and my mom would speak of often. I still will never forget the story about both of them careening down a highway in his truck while being chased by a giant transparent dome-like craft. This artistic ability and his fascination with the unexplained lives on in myself, a fact I'm thankful for everyday. In middle school, I was given the opportunity to request a commissioned painting from my grandfather and he painted me a battlemech inside of one of his landscapes. I still have it hanging up on my wall and it's the best piece I still have of him. I've lost count of the times it's been asked about, and I love telling the story.

Carrie Roberts

September 22, 2019

Grandpa was a one-of-a-kind-man. So talented and so kind. God broke the mold with him. Some of my fondest memories of him are simply listening to him recount on his crop dusting and sign painting days. He spoke about both with such passion and expertise. I wholeheartedly believe that he is the reason my brothers and I have been gifted with so much talent for the arts - thank you grandpa! I have one of his paintings prominently displayed in my home; a modern piece with curious shapes and colors. It is hands down my favorite piece of artwork, and I proudly tell everyone that my grandpa painted that. He painted it the same year I was born, 1988. I always enjoyed that fact. It will forever hold a special place in my heart and in my home, and his memory will be cherished with it.

I also love to remember his curiosity for space and extraterrestrial life. Another one of my favorite memories happened just a short time before he passed. While visiting with him, he asked me to bring Jonathan (my fiancé) out. He said he had questions for him about space. Jonathan works in Aerospace and that fascinated grandpa. About a week and half before grandpa passed, Jonathan and I went to see him, and he and Jonathan carried out the sweetest conversation about space, the planets and black holes. I will hold on to that memory with such tenderness. To see my grandpa engage like, with such curiosity and excitement at the end of his life, was something to marvel at and be inspired by. Now he knows all the answers to all the questions, and I hope we can sit and have talks about everything again when we meet again, beyond the pearly gates.

Grandpa, I just know you are loving the afterlife, soaring around up there with no boundaries, and painting the sky with beautiful sunsets.

I love you Grandpa, and I will miss you 💙
~ Carrie

Donald Roberts

September 21, 2019


We've had the unique experience of having my father-in-law Wilbur here in Arizona close to us over the past four years.

We have been able to travel with him to many places in the Southwest which he has never had the opportunity to see before.

He truly loved the Sonoran Desert, and he used what he was able to see all around him as inspiration to start painting once again.

We are also grateful for being able to be with Wilbur to see him experience two more great grandchildren, Suzie and Paul, come into his life.

Fly high Wilbur, and my bet's that you're in a 600 Stearman right now!

Sharel Sims

September 21, 2019

Wayne and I became friends with Wilbur when he moved into the house across the street from us four years ago. As fellow Texans, we found that we had lots in common with Wilbur and lots to talk about. We soon discovered that in gaining Wilbur as a friend we also became part of his daughter, Kathy and son in law, Don's family. Something that has enriched our lived so much.
Visiting with Wilbur in his home was like being in an Art Gallery and Museum combined. Listening to Wilbur share his early experiences in Florida was like stepping into novels, like The Yearling and Where The Red Fern Grows. His stories about flying as a crop duster, navigating his small plane under high tension wires, soaring up into the sky, then turning on a dime to do the next row , was like we were in the tiny cockpit with him. He had such an innate grasp of engineering and aerodynamics that I'm sure Boeing Airlines could use a few men like Wilbur to sort out their 737 Max problems.
Wayne and I hold Wilbur's family in our hearts and are so grateful that we had the experience of knowing Wilbur. He enriched our lives.

Kathy Roberts

September 21, 2019

Dad and I spent some wonderful moments together over the last 4.5 years reminiscing about his life... his art, his passion for flying, his great love of all animals and his love of his family and, of course, his tremendous FAITH. We didn't always see eye to eye but we respected each other's point of view. Don and I enjoyed showing him places he had never been... Sedona and Las Vegas as well as the family enjoying professional baseball games together. We shared many wonderful meals together and many heartfelt talks. Dad's at peace now and with the family he so loved and looked so forward to seeing again. Dad, you will be missed. I love you ❤

Miles Roberts

September 20, 2019

Grandpa was a huge influence in our lives with his incredible and inventive artwork. He was such a calm and caring man. Whenever he met someone, he was kind and listened to them with no judgement. We are so grateful that he was able to able to be a part of all our existences, and we're extremely happy that he was able to see all his great grandchildren born and be a part of their young lives. He will be missed and will continue to be an influential man going forward.

We love you Grandpa,
Miles, Ashley, Suzie, and Paul

david hawkins

September 20, 2019

For Wilbur,
High Flight ,by John Gillespie

"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sun-ward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of -
wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.
Hovering there I've chased the shouting wind along
and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.

"Up, up the long delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
and, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
the high un-trespassed sanctity of space,
put out my hand
and touched the face of God."

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Many things can be said about Wilbur Frederick HAWKINS. Known to friends and acquaintances as a friendly, energetic, empathic and decisive man, his compassionate nature would always shine through, revealing his charm, warmth and conscientious demeanor. He was warmhearted, gentle and organized in all the things he sought to accomplish. Wilbur was a mentor, a natural “teacher” capable of seeing things clearly, leading others and bringing out the best in all of those around him. He generally had a focus on harmony and peace.

       His parents were John and Minnie Mae Hawkins. Wilbur was raised in Altoona, Florida. When he was young, Wilbur's friends and family found that “straightforward” and “honest” were perfect words to describe him. Even as a child, Wilbur demonstrated strong qualities of self-confidence, perceptive ability and a disposition that was enjoyable to those around him.

      Wilbur grew up with 4 siblings. He had two sisters, Martha Jo and Ellen, and two brothers, Dan and James. Wilbur was constantly involved in all sorts of activities with his family. He was even-tempered, taking care not to get involved in too many family conflicts. This quality served him well, in perpetually bringing harmony, understanding and a sense of peace to the family. Wilbur carried these traits into his adult life and served as one of many reasons why family and friends found him pleasurable and delightful to be around. Wilbur was a person who genuinely understood and cared for others, making powerful connections with those he knew.

      As a young boy, Wilbur was imaginative, ingenious, clever and a “novel” thinker. Regardless of whether his peers were older or younger, or came from different backgrounds, Wilbur could easily relate to other kids. He was an active child who took part in coon and squirrel hunting, and fishing while he wasn't helping work the farm. Wilbur was very accomplished in raising animals, baby doves and flying squirrels. However, to Wilbur, the most fun to be had was simply playing and spending time with his many friends.

      On May 24, 1952 Wilbur married Janet Ann Patton at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church of Menona, Wisconsin. Compassionate and devoted, Wilbur worked hard to make his new family happy. He was always generous with his time and this meant that Janet came first in Wilbur’s book. He was always caring and made certain that he considered Janet’s feelings. By trusting his emotions, Wilbur did his best to make sure that both the marriage and home life ran smoothly. This is just one more example of how Wilbur was truly a person of empathy.

      Wilbur’s quality of being a caring and tolerant person who was very accepting of others translated to being a good father to his children. Wilbur shared these values with his three children, two sons, Steven and David, and one daughter, Kathy. Wilbur was also blessed with seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren, Justin, Tanner, Haley, Jeremy, Jordon, Miles, Carrie, Grace, Ella, Suzie, and Paul. Wilbur related well to children of all ages and was able to connect to them on their level. The children always loved him and he was completely and totally devoted to them.

      Wilbur experienced success in his work life over and over again. His primary occupation was was an aerial applicator and commercial sign painter. He worked for over 50 years. Wilbur always made the effort to understand what was needed at work, and was well known by his colleagues as a team player. Wilbur took pride in managing his professional responsibilities and seemed to always know what was necessary to successfully complete a project. Wilbur was one to take the initiative and his skills at working cooperatively were highly valued. Wilbur continually sought to learn what his co-workers did well and how they were most effective, a talent that enabled him to help them develop their own potential.

      Wilbur was an Air Force veteran. He was stationed at Truex Field in Madison, Wisconsin. His fellow soldiers knew him as being very resourceful and kind. Wilbur demonstrated personal initiative and valued these same principles in those with whom he served.

      Because he was organized and methodical, Wilbur took great pleasure in his various hobbies. His favorite pursuits were gardening, painting in oils and watercolor, carpentry, fishing, and playing guitar in a band called 'Sentimental Journey'. Wilbur enjoyed sharing his passions with others and could singularly focus on one hobby at a time.

      Wilbur derived much satisfaction from sports. Because he was so instinctive and could always grasp the big picture, Wilbur delighted in the strategy and inner workings of a competition. Wilbur was also something of a sports fan and enjoyed watching his favorite teams' events whenever he got the opportunity. Tops on his list were football, following the Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys and the Texas Aggies.

      Throughout his life, Wilbur was actively involved in professional and community organizations. With a talent for focusing in on exactly what was required to be completed, Wilbur was known to his peers as being able to strengthen any group endeavor. When called on, Wilbur was a natural leader who created harmony and good relationships within the group, often putting his own needs aside. Wilbur’s involvement could easily help structure and organize any part of an organization. An added benefit was Wilbur’s ability to bring valued principles along with him. Throughout his later years, Wilbur was an active member of the Knights of Columbus.

      Wilbur’s faith was important to him. He was a member of St Joseph's Catholic Church in Bryan, Texas for over 50 years. During that time, he sang in the choir with his wife. He was compassionate and warm hearted; someone who truly cared for others and that was clearly demonstrated in his work with the congregation.

      Though he never did anything solely for individual recognition, Wilbur was given accolades for his many and varied efforts throughout his life. If the truth were known, Wilbur was always a little uncomfortable with being singled out for recognition. Some of his most prestigious awards were granted in local art shows in which he placed first.

      Wilbur enjoyed traveling, and because he was so well organized, he would take on the responsibility of planning and scheduling all of the family vacations. His gift for keeping things lively meant that vacations with Wilbur were always enjoyable. Favorite vacations included visiting family in Florida and Wisconsin.

      Wilbur was a lover of animals and cherished his pets. One of Wilbur's favorite was Toby, a Fox Terrier. They were best friends for 12 years. His family was rounded out by his three other dogs, Tina, Biscuit, and Dixie.

      When Wilbur’s retirement finally came in 1998, he was well prepared. Being the focused and organized person that he was, Wilbur had taken care to plan for this part of his life. When that time eventually arrived, Wilbur knew exactly what he wanted to do. His new life involved relocating to Goodyear, Arizona to be closer to family. In retirement, he found new pleasure in using his computer. Even in retirement, Wilbur continued to stay in touch with his old friends and made plenty of new acquaintances. He was active in the community and felt fulfilled.

      Wilbur passed away on September 18, 2019 at an assisted living group home in Goodyear, Arizona. Wilbur died of natural causes. He is survived by a sister and a brother, his three children, seven grandchildren, and four great grandchildren. Services were held at St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Avondale, Arizona. Wilbur was laid to rest next to his wife in Bryan, Texas.

      Throughout his life, Wilbur was a gregarious and enthusiastic man. He was generous in sharing his personal attributes, giving and helping those he knew and loved. He would often fill the role of coach, bringing out the best in everyone. He was imaginative, original, tender hearted and easy to get along with. Wilbur leaves behind him a legacy of life-long friendships and cherished memories. Everyone whose lives he touched will dearly remember Wilbur Frederick HAWKINS.