Alice Hawkins

April 10, 1914 - January 1, 2016
Formerly of Lawton, MI



Wednesday, January 6, 2016
11:00 AM EST
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
Paw Paw Location
60900 Michigan 40
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-3870
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At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

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Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Taylor's Florist and Gifts
215 E. Michigan Ave.
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-6256
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1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
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Life Story / Obituary


My Autobiography August 15, 1993


Influences in my life- religion, education, ethnic background, patriotism, siblings, marriage, economic status, printed materials, radio, television, transportation , rural America travel, places of residence, health, occupations, parental remembrances of their parents

Chicago, Illinois was the place of my birth on April 10, 1914

There were six children in my family- two sisters and three brothers. My Mother and Father were both teachers.

An uncle of my father later influenced him to become a lawyer. This uncle lived in Chicago. Father went there and got a job in the railway mail service of the U.S. He attended night classes at Chicago Kent College of Law where he got his law degree.

All the children were born in Chicago with the exception of my youngest brother who was born in Detroit.

We Moved to Detroit where my father had charge of the U.S. Naturalization, Detroit District and was director of Naturalization for the Detroit Board of Commerce.

The automobile industry had its beginnings about this time. People needed to work in this industry. Many came from Europe and wanted to become citizens.

Later my father had his own law practice.

I attended the Julia Ward House grade school, the Marshall Fach Intermediate School and Southeastern High School in Detroit.

In 1936 I graduated from Michigan State College in East Lansing. There my training was in Home Economics. Initially I thought of being a buyer of children’s clothing.

This was the time of the “Great Depression.” Teaching jobs were available. I took some education courses and got a job teaching Home Economics at Lawton High School, Lawton Michigan.

This is a rural community in SE Michigan. It was here I met my husband. It was his “home town”.

He was High School Principal, coach and taught math at Berrien Springs, Michigan.

We were married before the school year started in 1938. So Berrien Springs was where we started our married life.

As my husband worked his way through school administration. we lived in several places (all in Michigan). These were Belding, Hartford, St. Clair Shores, Deckerville, Berrien Springs and Brighton. He started his career in Chesaning.

Our daughter Nancy was born in Grand Rapids. Gordon retired at 65 from the Brighton Area School system where he was Superintendent for 13 years. I also taught there.

Nancy graduated from High School in Brighton and from the University of Michigan. She was married and then went to Athens Georgia. Her husband is a C.P.A. – is a graduate of U of M and was commissioned in the U.S. Navy. He trained at Naval Ordinance School at University of Georgia. He was then sent to Rota Spain and was stationed on a submarine tender. Nancy went with him. They had an apartment in Rota. He “commuted” to the Tender! We visited them there.

We retired to Sarasota Florida after Nancy and Del went to Spain. We lived in Sarasota for 26 years. Florida was good to us. We enjoyed golf and we were active in social events at the nearby golf club. I liked to garden. We were active in church and our community association. Art was an interest to me. I belonged to the Venice Florida Art League. Of the different media I tried- Sumi-E (Oriental Brush Painting) held the most interest for me.

Our daughter and son –in-law came back to Ann Arbor after two years in Spain. My son-in-law returned to a job in a local accounting firm. Nancy has taught in grade school in the Ann Arbor system for 28 years. She is currently teaching first grade at Logan Elementary School.

They have two sons- the oldest graduated from Amherst College in 1991, taught for one year at the Rectory, a private boys school in Pomfret Connecticut. He needed more education so came to the U of M this year for an accelerated Masters Degree program in Education. He now has a teaching position in Berlin Connecticut. He is a fourth generation teacher.

Our youngest grandson is currently in Washington D.C. researching materials at the Library of Congress and National Archives for authors who write books on political persons and events. August 5, 1995 is the 50th Anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. He has done searches on that event. He will return soon to complete his senior year at Oberlin College, Ohio.

We came back to Michigan because Gordon’s health failed and our daughter thought it was time we were near them, so she could help us as necessary.

We came to Hidden Pond in November 0f 1992. Gordon died April 1st this year after a short illness.

There have been many interesting activities here to participate in and to keep my mind active. Residents are interesting too.

September 26-October 10 I plan to travel to the Netherlands with an Interhostel group sponsored by the University of New Hampshire. “The Netherlands in its Golden Age” is the theme of the study.

Threaded through all of this is the fact that it was the goal of my father that we should all graduate from college and we did.

Alice is survived by her daughter, Nancy Hawkins Dunbar (Del); grandson, Matthew Dunbar (Nancy) and family Jane, Will and Cora of West Hartford, CT; and grandson Ross Dunbar (Mitra) and family Ayla and Nicholas Dunbar of Ann Arbor.

Services will be held on Wednesday January 6th at 11am at the Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler & Thompson, 60900 M-40, Paw Paw (269-657-3870) with burial following in Oak Grove Cemetery, Lawton, MI.

Please visit Alice’s personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can read her life story, archive a favorite memory or photo and sign her online guest book.