William T. Hawkens, Jr. ’50

William T. Hawkens, Jr. ’50 died on December 25, 2017, in Newport, Vermont.

(The following appeared online at converse-rushford.com:)

William T. Hawkens Jr. of Newport, Vermont, died on December 25, 2017, at the Bel-Aire Health & Rehabilitation Center.

Bill was born in Jay, Maine, on November 4 1924, the son of Irene and William Hawkens.

He attended Kennett High School in Conway, New Hampshire, where he proved to be an excellent student athlete.

In the fall of 1942 Bill enrolled at the Columbia University, NYC, and after completing the first semester, was inducted into the United States Army and sent to Camp Blanding, Florida, for basic training with the 66th Division. He was later selected for Office Candidate School in Fort Benning, Georgia and, upon completion, was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant U.S Army. After receiving additional advanced training, he was shipped to the Pacific Theater of operations.

When released from active duty in September 1946, Bill enrolled at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, and in February 1949, graduated with a bachelors degree. It was during this time the he married Shirley L. Atwood who was to be his partner and companion for the next sixty-three years.

His first employment was with the W.T Grant Co. in their management training program. Things were going well with his work and the family had two additions, Robert and William.

Then in December 1950, he was recalled to active duty was soon on his way to Korea. His last assignment there was prisoner of war inspector, 8th Army. When finally released by the Army, he returned to work for the Grant Co. During this time there was another addition to the family, Mary Ellen. A later promotion to senior buyer position gave him the opportunity to make several trips to Hong Kong and Formosa. His next move was to accept the position of vice president of operations for Gerard Industries, a large furniture manufacturer located in Puerto Rico. Later when Anderson Manufacturing Co, a small furniture plant in Vermont Came up for sale, he and an associate made the purchase. Bill ran the plant with success and in late 1967 sold his interest, and joined Ethan Allen Inc and for the next 18 years he had many assignments, the last was vice president, distribution division. Health problems forced him to retire.

He is survived by three children, Mary Ellen Maclure and her husband Yves of Newport, Vermont; William and his wife Judy of Warwick, New York; Robert and his wife Julie of St. Louis, Missouri; nine grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews and special friends, Ron, Cindy, Eric, and Wayne.

His beloved wife of sixty-three years, Shirley, passed away on May 15, 2009, and he was predeceased by his brother Munroe in 2016.

One thing that Bill really enjoyed was working with people. They were always treated as adults and were expected to act accordingly. His rules were simple: play to win; do your best; show respect; work to improve; be a good loser-; and most important have fun. He followed his own rules, still playing softball at age sixty-five.

Bill was a member of the Kennett High School Hall of Fame, American Legion Post #28, and Maine Lodge #20 both at Farmington, Maine.

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