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Donald Walter Hawkins, 61

Donald Walter Hawkins, 61 years, passed to heaven on Feb. 18, 2012  in Las Vegas, Nev.

Donald was born Jan. 22, 1951 in Gainesville, Mo., to Dexter and Nelita (Farmer) Hawkins.  From an early age, Don learned about hard work by working on his father’s farm. He graduated from Gainesville High School in 1968. He attended Southwest Missouri State University and graduated with a bachelor degree in business agriculture and attained his master’s degree in avionics at Embry Riddle University.

Don joined the U.S. Air Force in 1974 where he became an F4 fighter pilot and ultimately achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel. Don achieved high honors during his military service and was awarded the Meritorious Service medal three times, the Air Force Commendation medal and served in Operation Desert Storm where he was awarded the National Defense Service medal with one Bronze Service Star. He served over 20 years of service to our country and retired in 1994. Don moved to Las Vegas in 1989. On Dec. 5, 2005 Don and Fe were united in marriage.

Donald was preceded in death by his father, Dexter Walter Hawkins; a sister, Kathy; and a brother, David.

Donald is survived by his wife, Fe Hawkins, Las Vegas, Nev.; two children, Josh Hawkins and wife, Avalee, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, Lori Hawkins, Las Vegas, Nev.; three stepchildren,  Benison, Brian and Bonito; his mother, Nelita  Hawkins, Noble, Mo.; two grandchildren, Taylor Hawkins and Tyler Hawkins; four siblings and their spouses, Dan and Rhonda Hawkins, Dennis and Lisa Hawkins, Debra and Randall Delp and Doug and Gina Hawkins, all of Noble, Mo.; many nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.

Funeral services for Don were Saturday, Feb. 25, at 11 a.m. in the Clinkingbeard Funeral Home, Ava, Mo., with burial in the Sims Cemetery, Gainesville, Mo., with full military honors by the U.S. Air Force. Visitation was Saturday, from 10 a.m. to service time in the funeral home. Officiating was Pastor Charles McFarland.

Online condolences may be made to www.clinkingbeardfuneral