Virginia L. Hawkins

Virginia L. Hawkins, 95, of Petoskey, formerly of Rogers City, died late Monday evening, November 21, 2016. Her life was remembered and celebrated with a funeral Mass Monday, November 28, at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church; the Rev. Dennis Stilwell officiated. She was laid to rest next to her husband of 59 years, Dr. Walter Hawkins in Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Rogers City.

Virginia was born July 1, 1921 in Grayling, to Albert and Mabel Christina (McGillis) Charron.  She graduated from Grayling High School in 1938  Virginia attended Central Michigan University for several years until the outbreak of the Second World War.  During the war Virginia worked for the AC Spark Plug Division of General Motors in Flint in war effort manufacturing. After the war Virginia returned to Central Michigan, where she met Walter Hawkins. Virginia and Walter were married June 21, 1948 in Grayling. Walter graduated from Marquette University Dental School in 1950 and after a time the couple moved north to Rogers City, where Walter opened his practice.

In addition to some teaching in local schools, Virginia was an instrumental force in the early years of the Michigan Association of Retarded Children. For over 30 years she championed the rights of the mentally handicapped and developmentally disabled.  She was an active member of the Northeast Michigan Mental Health Board, serving the board in a number of capacities but primarily as board secretary. She was well respected and appreciated for her diligent work and sharp mind. She was a wonderful mother and grandmother, who strove to in all things put her family’s needs first, and a trustworthy and faithful friend.

Her surviving family members include her children, Lucy Hawkins of Moab, Utah, Harry (Barbara) Hawkins of Lansing, Dr. Carl (Grace) Hawkins of Petoskey; grandchildren, Gabrielle (Elijah) Aydnwylde, Patrick (Chrissy) Hawkins, Brett Hawkins, Marie Winnick, Laura (Joshua) Hawkins, Philip (Mandy) Hawkins; and two great-grandchildren, Dominic and Carina Hawkins. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Elaine in 1972; her husband Walter in 2008; and seven siblings.

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