Funeral services for James Robert “Bear” Hawkins, 92, of Sulphur Springs will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, at West Oaks Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. John Gandy and Benny Potter officiating.
Full military graveside honors by the Hopkins County Military Coalition will follow at Sulphur Springs City Cemetery with Bryan Burney, Kenneth Burney, Buddy Burney, Butch Burney, Tom Rost and Mike Phillips serving as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearer will be Bonnie Huffstettler, longtime friend.
Visitation will be held from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.
Mr. Hawkins passed away on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at the Bonham VA Medical Center.
He was born July 29, 1921, in Sulphur Springs, the son of Robert Oscar and Stella (Houston) Hawkins.
He married Faye Irene Burney on Dec. 23, 1965, in Martin Springs. She preceded him in death on Nov. 22, 2002.
Bear was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church and a retired dairy farmer. He also served in the United States Army Air Corps during WWII, stationed in Guam, and was a member of the Hopkins County Military Coalition and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
He was a graduate of Sulphur Springs High School and a lineman on the legendary 1939 district championship football team.
Bear was known for his kindness, gentle attitude, patience and selflessness. He was a man of faith who loved his family, his country and his work. He milked cows on the family dairy until his retirement in the 1980s. Bear helped raise up a generation of his grandchildren and their friends by giving them jobs in the hayfield.
He was a dairyman at heart and worked cattle on his land past his 92nd birthday.
He is survived by his stepson, Bobby Burney and wife, Shirley of Sulphur Springs; seven grandchildren, Bryan Burney and wife, Sharon, of Sulphur Springs, Kenneth Burney of Cumby, Buddy Burney and wife, Starla, of Weatherford, Terri Davis of Humble, Janet Phillips and husband, Mike, of Sulphur Springs, Butch Burney and wife, Karen, of Sulphur Springs and Suzy Rost and husband, Tom, of Sulphur Springs; 15 great-grandchildren, Kyle, Zach and Alex Burney, Carl Burney, Jacob and Sarah Rost, Blakeli and Berkley Burney, Chad Brown, Rachylle Hammons, Jacob Phillips, Brandi Boles, Aaron Dodd, and Alyssa and Bradyn Burney; and 11 great-great-grandchildren.
In addition to his wife, he was also preceded in death by his parents and stepson, Billy T. Burney, and his wife, Jackie Burney.
Online condolences can be left at:
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