Billy Hawkins, Sr. 1929-2018

Services for Billy James Hawkins Sr, 88, were held May 5, 2018, at Eubank Funeral Home in Canton. Interment was at Haven of Memories Memorial Park in Canton.

He returned to his Heavenly Father on April 30, 2018, after a brief battle with cancer.

Born on Oct. 3, 1929, he was the only son of James Clyde and Myrtis Irene Chaney Hawkins. Born in Fruitvale, he graduated from Edgewood High School.

After graduating, he worked as a merchant marine fireman for Standard Oil of New Jersey until he was drafted by the Army in 1951.

He served during the Korean War as a paratrooper in Company F of the 187th Airborne Regiment Combat Team (ARCT) with the rank of Private, Second Class after receiving airborne training at Fort Benning, Georgia.

The ARCT was deployed to Japan as a strategic reserve and then returned to Korea to assist in the suppression of the prisoner rebellion at the Geoje POW Camp, rescuing Brigadier General Francis Dodd.

He received the Combat Infantry Badge, the Korean Service Medal with two bronze service stars, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Paratroopers Badge during his service.

After his service, he worked as a machinist for Chance Vaught, Rockwell International, Western Electric, and Otis Elevators. He had two sons, Billy James Hawkins, Jr. and Jessie Calvin Hawkins.

On March 7, 1992, he married the love of his love, Ms. Guineve Valentine Martin. The two passionately enjoyed life, family, friends, and traveling across the United States in their RV.

They spent winters in South Texas, enjoying the grapefruits and trips into Mexico. The two were active members of Edgewood Baptist Church.

He spent time in Canada doing mission work for Texas Baptist Men and Guineve was always at his side.

The two never met a stranger and enjoyed the friends they met throughout the countryside. Guineve's sons, Richard and David, were treasured and loved by Billy.

He and Guineve lived a lifetime in the decade they had together before he lost Guineve in a heroic battle against breast cancer. He was devastated by her loss.

On Sept. 20, 2010, he met Glenda Bontrager who had also lost her spouse. They married and spent two years helping each other cope with life before her death. 

His greatest love was children. He was exceptionally caring and giving for all the children in his family always arriving at Christmas and special events with presents and big hugs. He was especially loved by his great-nieces. 

His family would like to thank the loving care provided by the staff at Azalea Trails Nursing Home and Caring Hearts Hospice.

He loved growing tomatoes, onions, and flowers in the garden of the home and enjoyed each of the staff members who became his close friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Clyde James and Myrtis Irene Hawkins; his son, Billy James Hawkins; and by his wives, Marie Welch Hawkins, Guineve Valentine Hawkins and Glenda Bontrager Hawkins.

He is survived by his sister, Shirley Hawkins, and brother-in-law, Grady JR Goggans of Grand Saline; his son, Jesse Hawkins of Edgewood; stepson, Richard Martin and his wife, Carolyn, of Henderson; stepson, David Martin and wife, Lisa, of New Mexico; stepson, Jerry Bontrager of Houston; step-daughters, Sherry Johnson and Dina Holman of Nashville, Tenn.; nephew, Ron Goggans and his husband, Jim Butler of Campton, N.H.; his niece, Bonnie Bruce and her husband, Mark Bruce; and his grandnieces, Avery and Austin Bruce, all of Round Rock.