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Mr. Robert Hawkins
Mr. Robert Hawkins
Robert Lee Hawkins was born to the union of Ada Mae Stephens and Felix Hawkins III in Fresno, California, on September 17, 1945. He was the second child of his seven siblings. Robert graduated from Edison High School in Fresno, California.
Robert began his career with United Airlines at age 20 in 1965. He started out cleaning planes and then enlisted in the U.S. Army where he studied helicopter and airplane mechanics. When his service was completed, Robert returned to United Airlines and began working in the machinist shops and ultimately was promoted to work as an airline mechanic. He worked dutifully for thirty-seven years before retiring in 2002.
In 1971, Robert married Lee Anna Catchings and from that union, his only daughter Leha Hawkins was born. He also became the bonus father to her three children: Antonio, Annette, and Stephanie. Robert was a doting grandparent, who was known to his grandchildren and all their friends simply as Grandaddy. He loved spending time with his grandchildren, Miles, Malaya, Dmitri, and Camille. From elementary school field trips to Apple Hill and beginner band performances, to buying first bikes and taking off the training wheels, to countless hours on the sidelines at soccer matches, to buying first cars and graduations – Grandaddy was there. Grandaddy also played an instrumental role in supporting his grandchildren with their college endeavors. He was always so proud of all their achievements and loved to brag about his family.
Later in this life, Robert married a second time to Jessie Wagner and became a bonus father, again, to her adult children. Robert was a caretaker and provider. His family could always count on him for support. He spent much of his retired life offering help and giving back. When he wasn’t out in the blazing sun at soccer matches on game days, he was the babysitter and grandbaby shuttle with daily stops to and from school. He loved being of service not only to his family, but also to his church family, Greater Hill Zion, offering his help with repairs and utilizing his gift of organization.
He was there for his beloved daughter, Leha, throughout many trying times – never failing to show up and be the best dad he could be. It was his love and support that allowed Leha to not only graduate from college, but to go on to complete both her Master of Arts and Doctorate degrees.
In his final days, Robert was blessed to have Leha move into his home, be his constant caretaker, spend precious and unforgettable moments with him, and be by his side once he took his last breath. Robert was called home to be with the Lord on April 30, 2023.
Preceding him in death were his father, Felix Hawkins; mother, Ada Mae Stephens; uncle, James Hawkins; aunt, Julia Hardy; sister, Beverly Walton; brothers, Felix Hawkins IV and Gary Hawkins Sr.; Nephews, Renard Walton and Felix Marcus Hawkins V.
Robert is bereaved by his wife Jessie Wagner Hawkins and family (Sacramento); as well as his cherished daughter and grandchildren, Dr. Leha Anaya Hawkins, Miles Nehemiah Robert Ollison, Malaya Symone Ollison, Camille Noelle Ollison (Sacramento), and Dmitri Antonio High (Santa Clara). His bonus children, Antonio High and wife Maricela (Santa Clara), Annette Catchings (Chattanooga), Stefanie Smith and husband Ronald (Cyprus). Also, his sisters: Ruby McCowan (Sacramento), Barbra Dunn (Lake Los Angeles), and Alice Faye (Lancaster); his nephews: Frank Marshall Cannon (Los Angeles); Eric Nettles (Lake Los Angeles), Sydney Everett Nettles and wife, Mjulela (San Diego); and his nieces, Michelle Smith (Sacramento), Marcel Antonette McCowan (Sacramento), Tomeka Hawkins (Fresno), Nicole Pearson and husband James (La Mesa), Elexus Hawkins (Seattle). Grand nieces and nephews: Beneatha Danielle Cooper, Jason Cooper (Sacramento), Kiara Harrigan (Reno), Anthony Jenkins (Sacramento), Isaiah Hawkins (Fresno), Saaleha Nettles, Angeni Nettles, Nilaja Nettles, Gyasi Nettles (San Diego), Ava June Pearson, James L. Pearson IV (La Mesa), and a host of other great grand nieces, great grand nephews, as well as many other dear friends, church family, and relatives.