Guilford Wayne Hawkins, Sr.

December 01, 1931 — April 04, 2024

Service Details

Guilford Wayne Hawkins, Sr., was born to Jacob and Martha (Letcher) Hawkins on December 1, 1931 in New London, Missouri. He was the first of four children born of this union.

He graduated from Douglas High School in Hannibal, MO. He was active in sports and excelled in track. Like many at that time, Guilford answered the call to duty at the age of 21 and served in the Army during the Korean War. A highlight of his life was participating in the Honor Flight in 2019, which gave veterans a chance to experience the memorials and monuments in Washington, DC.

In his early life he was employed by Robey Robinson Lumberyard in New London, MO. Later Guilford would find his way to Des Moines, Iowa where he would make a life for himself. Guilford met and married Marilyn I. (Love) Hawkins in 1986 in New London, Missouri. He worked several jobs over the course of his life, sometimes two or more jobs at one time. He worked and retired from Meredith/Meredith Burda/RR Donnelly. He also worked and retired as a crossing guard for the City of Des Moines, and as if that was not enough he went on to work and retire from Charter Oaks, driving charter busses with his wife, Marilyn. He was also a driver for Five Oaks Carnivals Stages, Northwest Transportation, Hawkeye Stages, CIT Transportation. His work ethic was exemplary. He did not tolerate tardiness or not going to work and instilled this trait in all who were close to him.

Although appearing gruff, Guilford (affectionately known as Hawk) was fun loving and enjoyed life to the fullest. You had to know him to understand and appreciate his wicked sense of humor as well as his famous sayings and witty comebacks.

Guilford absolutely loved sports, westerns and his soap operas or “stories” as he called them. If you ever called him during his “stories” you only did that one time! It was a big no no to disturb him during the stories and he would let you know in no uncertain terms. Another favorite pastime was hunting and fishing, accumulating quite a gun collection over the years.

Guilford took great pleasure in maintaining his and Marilyn’s home, especially the yard. For many years he maintained a garden, something he was used to having from his childhood in Missouri. Caring for his property was more like a hobby which he often shared with his brother-in-law, Henry whenever they would visit from Missouri. They had a friendly rivalry going about who kept the best yard. Guilford also enjoyed maintaining his garage, much like one maintain any living space, to the extent at one time had carpet in the garage giving it a homey feeling when he and Marilyn hosted family gatherings, cookouts and fish frys. He knew his way around a grill and would hook up one of his delicious peach and cherry cobblers in a heartbeat. He could never pass up an opportunity to fry a turkey or make homemade ice cream for the grandchildren. These events always included spirited games of spades, dominoes and tall tales. For many years their home was the place to be for the children and grandchildren on the fourth of July.

Guilford was always up for a good road trip. Over the years he took many road trips in their camper to Missouri, Idaho and Texas to visit family. He prided himself on his driving skills. He traveled the road many times to Missouri that the Highway Patrol knew him by name. Getting pulled over once for exceeding the speed limit, when he rolled down the window to talk to the Highway Patrolman, the Patrolman said, “oh hi Mr. Hawkins, going to visit the family are you?” “Just slow it down a bit and be safe.” He had that effect on people.

While Guilford always dressed nice, once he became a Deacon, the fashion show was on. He loved dressing up in his suits and credited his wife, daughter and Harold Penners for keeping him “clean and sharp.” Any given Sunday he would be matching from head to toe. One of his favorite suits was a purple one with matching gators. Casual or dressed up he was always sharp.

Guilford enjoyed his role as a Deacon at Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church. He served in many capacities at the church and willingly did whatever was asked of him. He was indeed a good and faithful servant.

Many learned valuable life lessons from Guilford. To know him was to love him. Just ask any of his family, friends or extended family of which there are many.

Guilford peacefully made his transition from this life on April 4, 2024 in the comfort of his beloved home. Guilford was preceded in death by his parents Jacob and Martha (Letcher) Hawkins, his grandparents Lula (Momma Ulie) and Daniel (Poppa Dan) Letcher and Jake and Elizabeth (Carter) Hawkins, two brothers Harry and John Hawkins, a son Guilford Hawkins, Jr. infant daughter Brenda Hawkins, grandsons Walter Cortez II and Justin Hawkins, and great-grandson Izeyah Yenter.

He leaves to cherish his memories, his loving wife and caregiver Marilyn Hawkins, his favorite sister Eva Erby of New London, MO, children Larry (Betty) Hawkins of Meridian, ID, Patricia Johnson of Urbandale, IA, Tanya (Tammy) Haynes of Riverdale, GA, Shy Jackson of Des Moines, IA, Stephen (Jody) Love of Des Moines, IA, Rickey Hawkins of Grinnell, IA, godsons Talbray Jackson, Sr., Fred Hurley, Jr., and Jaiden Long, and brothers-in-law Lynn (Sonia) Lewis, Jr. of Des Moines, IA and Michael Love of Houston, TX.

Guilford had 23 grandchildren, 45 great-grandchildren, and 20 great-great-grandchildren as well as a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, bonus children and grandchildren. He had a great-grand dog Inez who will miss him as much as everyone else.

Visitation will be held from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., Sunday, April 14, 2024, at Hamilton’s Funeral Home, 605 Lyon St., Des Moines. Funeral service will begin at 11:00 a.m. Monday, April 15, 2024, at Maple Street Baptist Church, 1552 Maple St., Des Moines. Burial will be held at 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 16th at Iowa Veterans Cemetery, Adel.

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