Obituary of Jean Hawkins
HAWKINS: Jean Ellen Hawkins (nee Dawson), age 92, beloved wife of the late Russell Hawkins, passed away at Fairview Personal Care Home on Monday, January 23, 2023.
Jean was born at Brandon General Hospital on, April 26, 1930, the 2nd of three children of Kathleen and Ernest Dawson. She was predeceased by her parents, her brother, Bill and her sister, Joyce (Ken) Beever.
Jean lived her entire life in Brandon, attending Central School, Earl Haig and Brandon Collegiate Institute (now New Era). She then took a business course at St. Michael’s Academy which proved to be very useful as she did an enormous amount of clerical work, both paid and volunteer through the years.
Upon completing her business course, Jean worked at the Massey Harris office in the basement of the old Massey Harris Building on 7th and Pacific and then for W.H. Barker Insurance Agent in the Clement Block at 9th and Rosser Avenue where she work for 5 years.
Central Community Center played a huge role in Jean’s life over the years. It was there she first saw her future husband, Russell Hawkins. About a year later, when walking home from work, Russell rode up behind her on his bike and asked her to go the show with him the following Saturday. On May 13, 1947, they had their first date and on May 13 of 1950, Russell proposed. For the next year and a half, they worked on building a house at 528 7th Street that would become their home for 57 years. On September 3, 1951, they were united in marriage at St. Paul’s United church with Joyce Dawson and Harold Hawkins by their side as maid of honor and best man.
Jean and Russ volunteered for many years at Central Community Center, where Jean made thousands of raffle tickets and they helped with carnivals, dances and teas. She also helped put on many skits with the children in the area for Variety Concerts.
The church community has always been a huge part of Jean’s life. She attended Sunday School at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church from the age of 5 years, joined the Mission Band and Young People’s group and sang in the church choir. Jean also attended Brownies for a time at St. Mary’s Anglican Church. Later on when she was dating Russell, they attended the Young People’s group at First Church United, participating in all the activities the group had to offer. In 1951, they joined St. Paul’s United (later Central United) where they were married. Soon after they joined the Couple’s Club with their good friends, Bill and Mayme Turner. Jean taught Sunday School for 6 years and participated in the Akron ladies club until it became the United Church Women. Jean was a member of the church for over 71 years.
Jean joined Russell as a Scout Leader for the Cubs of Central 19th. They stayed involved in the Scouting movement for over 40 years, with Jean raising over $40,000.00 for the Cubs through refund offers and couponing. This fundraising helped many boys over the years to go to camps and to purchase equipment.
In 1970, Jean and Russ purchased an older cottage at Sandy Lake where they entertained family and friends for many years. In 1986, they tore down the old cottage and built a new cabin. They became active in the Sandy Lake Senior’s drop-in center where they played cards, pool and helped make perogies.
Jean and Russ also loved their winter holidays to Mesa, Arizona where they purchased a park model trailer at Silver Spur Ranch and made dozens of new friends and learned many new card games! While wintering in Mesa, Arizona they became official Scouters for 13 years with Scout Troop 288 at the Church of the Master Presbyterian.
In the spring of 2008, Jean and Russ made the move from their home on 7th street to the Westman Lion’s Manor where they, once again, joined in and made a lasting impact on their fellow residents there. After Russell died in 2018, Jean continued to live at Lions Manor up until a few months before her passing. Jean spent some time in hospital and then moved to Fairview Personal Care Home on December 1, 2022.
Jean leaves behind so many people who loved her. She will be remembered by her sons, Douglas (Rosemarie), Bruce (Elaine), Jim (Petchie) and Rob (Vicki), 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. She will also be remembered by her good friends of over 80 years, Irene Clermont and Mayme Turner.
A gathering to honor Jean’s memory will be held at the Royal Canadian Legion #3, 560 13th St. E., Brandon, MB on Saturday, June 10, 2023 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Jean’s name may be made to Brandon Regional Health Care Foundation “Palliative Care Unit”, 150 McTavish Avenue E., R7A 2B3.To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Jean Hawkins, please visit our Tree Store
Memorial Gathering for Jean Hawkins
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