Cover photo for William Gerard Hawkins, Jr.'s Obituary
William Gerard Hawkins, Jr. Profile Photo

William Gerard Hawkins, Jr.

March 17, 1944 — February 6, 2024

Foxborough

William Gerard Hawkins, Jr.

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William Gerard Hawkins Jr., age 79, passed away on February 06, 2024 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Brockton, Massachusetts. Born in Norwood, Massachusetts on March 17, 1944, he was the son of William and Mary Ann (Donahue) Hawkins. Bill grew up in Norwood with his sisters Jeanne and Patricia as well as his best friend, Dick Wenstrom. Bill was an entrepreneurial young man, selling lemonade on Earle street while the development was being built as well as learning the ins and outs of Mack truck mechanics by assisting his father with hopes of having his own business one day. In the winter months, snow days were spent tobogganing and building snow men with his sisters and friends, creating memories that would be cherished for a lifetime. As a teen Bill joined the Norwood Colonial Boys Ancient Fife & Drum Corps, marching in parades and bearing the American Flag while treating parade-goers to beloved renditions of traditional Irish and American tunes. Bill graduated from Norwood High School in the early 1960's before attending Newbury College in Brookline, Massachusetts, earning his Associate's degree in Business.


In May of 1965, Bill enlisted with the United States Air Force, proudly serving his country, both stateside and abroad during the Vietnam War. While stationed in Michigan for his training, Bill developed a passion for riding motorcycles and nice cars, finding a beautiful fire engine red Austin-Healey car that he would have sent home to his parents house in Norwood before his deployment. During his time in the Air Force, Bill achieved the rank of Airman First Class and specialized as a weapons maintenance technician, servicing and maintaining the weaponry that helped keep himself and his fellow airmen prepared for any battle. Bill earned the Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon a mere month into his service, and later received accolades including the National Defense Service Medal, the Air Force Good Conduct Metal, and the Vietnam Service Medal with a Bronze Service Star, the latter being awarded only to individuals who had distinguished themselves through heroic or meritorious achievement or service.

 

Upon Bill's honorable discharge, he returned home to Norwood and was introduced to the love of his life, Mary Louise Kirby through mutual friends. The pair joined in holy matrimony in November of 1972 at Saint Anne's Church in the Readville neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. Bill and Mary Lou made their married home in Walpole, Massachusetts before setting down into their forever home in Foxborough, Massachusetts in 1978, bringing Bill's beloved Austin-Healey with them.


Bill's love of trucks and cars as a young man certainly motivated his future career choices, as he was always working on or with them in some capacity. As a young man he worked at his father's business, W. G. Hawkins Trucking of Norwood, as a diesel mechanic before taking it over, then as a truck driver hauling sand and gravel in and out of Boston and to the Cape for D. Rounds Trucking in Foxboro, Massachusetts, before joining Rauan Transportation in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1996 as a lead mechanic until his retirement in the early 2000's. Bill loved big trucks so much that, even working seven days a week, he would come home and spend hours getting his hands dirty tinkering with and maintaining his own fleet of Mack Trucks. 


His love for the big wheels was source of bonding for him and his son, Billy, who he lovingly nicknamed "Moose". Bill inspired a love for the trucks in his son, teaching Billy how to fix them and fostering an appreciation for them, while sharing many precious father son moments. Bill loved being a Dad and was so proud of the young man that he raised. He passed on many pieces of sage advice to his Moose, reminding him of the importance of being kind, how to treat a woman right, and how to protect himself against a harsh world while still remaining kind, funny, and helpful.


In his free time Bill loved to fish. He could be found relaxing with a beer and bait at Buckmaster Pond in Westwood, Massachusetts or throwing a line down at Castle Island or the Cape Cod Canal. He enjoyed salt water fishing and never turned down an opportunity to deep sea fish with friends. When not fishing, he enjoyed scuba diving, golfing, and watching Nascar races. Bill loved the thrill of the race track and attended as many races at the New Hampshire Speedway in Louden as possible. At home, many warm afternoons were spent smoking a cigar and grilling while Mary Lou worked in her garden, before heading into the garage to spend time with his trucks and his son.


Beloved husband of the late Mary Louise Hawkins.

Loving father of William G. Hawkins, III and his fiance, Alissa Cleary, of Foxboro.

Brother of Jeanne M. Campbell of Foxborough and Patricia Hawkins-Greene of Norwood.

Brother-in-Law of Joanne Mich, and her late husband William, of Norwood, William Kirby, and his wife Roberta, of Mulberry, Florida, Francis Kirby of Dedham, Paul Kirby of Mulberry, Florida, James Kirby, and his wife Rae Ann, of Dedham and the late Robert Kirby.

Also survived by his nephew, Shaun P. Campbell, and his wife Laura, of Taunton, nephew William J. Campbell of Foxborough, nephew Michael William Greene and his wife, Kristin, of Virginia, grand niece Elena Campbell, and grand nephew Finn Greene.


A Memorial Mass will be celebrated in conjunction with his wife Mary Lou at Saint Mary's Church, 58 Carpenter Street, Foxborough, Massachusetts 02035, on Friday, February 23, 2024, at 10:00 AM.  Interment will take place at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.


In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in William's name may be made to the Tunnels to Towers Foundation at 2361 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island, New York 10306 or by visiting https://t2t.org/  

 

Arrangements by James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, Walpole.

 

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Past Services

Memorial Mass

Friday, February 23, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Saint Mary's Church - Foxborough

58 Carpenter Street, Foxborough, MA 02035

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