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Florine Hawkins

Florine Hawkins (Hause)

Monday, April 26th, 1926 - Tuesday, March 31st, 2020
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Obituary

Florine Hause Hawkins, age 93, of Oak Grove, died March 31, 2020, at St. Mary's Hospital in Blue Springs, Missouri.
Born April 26, 1926, in Fort Lupton, Colorado, she was the daughter of Howard Henry Hause and Lucille Curry Hause. She was a 1943 graduate of Brighton High School in Brighton, Colorado, and a 1947 graduate of Dallas Bible College, Dallas, Texas. She played 5 musical instruments, of which her favorite was the accordion. She passed her love of music on to her children and grandchildren and so many others. Children were her passion, and she contributed so much love to any child she encountered. One of her favorite activities was tea parties with children, dolls, and stuffed animals. She would do a different voice for each doll or animal, making them come alive to the children.
On June 26, 1950, she married her college professor, Robert Edward Hawkins, in Fort Worth, Texas.
She was a missionary in Mexico and the Rio Grande Valley in Texas for 2 years, and then with her husband spent nearly 30 years in Guyana, South America as a missionary, church musician/hymn writer and Bible translator to the Wai Wai Indian Tribe.
She was preceded in death by her sister and brother, her parents, her daughter Faith and her husband of 69 years, Robert Hawkins.
Survivors include two sons, Howard Hawkins, Austin, Texas, David Hawkins, Odessa, Missouri; a daughter, Joy Lovick, North Carolina; 13 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren; a special caregiver, Debbie Flowers, Odessa, MO; and a myriad of cousins in Colorado and Texas.
She was beloved by the workers at Oak Grove Nursing Home, whose loving care we appreciate so much.

Memorial service to be announced at a later date. Online condolences may be left at www.speakschapel.com (Arrangements Carson-Speaks Chapel).
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Private Condolence

Joy Lovick

Posted at 09:58pm
Florine is my mother for 63-1/2 years. I have her physical, psychological and spiritual genes, one of which is her love for music. One of her primary forms of musical expression was on the accordion, before a botched shoulder surgery made it impossible for her to play much any more. But if anything is an icon of her musicality, it is the accordion. My mother went to Heaven at 3:00 p.m. on March 31. Around that same time on that same day, Ms. Vickie Sowers of Bolivar, Missouri was sitting on her front porch barefoot in the sunshine, playing an absolutely beautiful medley of "Going to Heaven" Hymns, which she then posted to the Odessa Community Facebook page. That evening, I "happened" to come upon Vickie's accordion video when I opened up my Facebook page. I listened transfixed as she played some of Mom's very favorite hymns on her very favorite instrument, evidently being played at almost exactly the time Mom stepped into Heaven. The music was so transcendently beautiful and brought me so much peace that I slept well that night. Thank you, Ms. Sowers, for your faith and for sharing your talent at a time when evidently God prompted you to do so.
JH

Jane Hawkins

Posted at 12:06pm
I need to tell you about my grandmother, Florine Hawkins.

It is such a strange time to be grieving loved ones as, under normal circumstances, our grief is interpreted, properly amplified, understood, and shared when we can be in the presence of others who are experiencing the same loss we are. There just isn’t a satisfactory substitute for such a uniquely human experience. A corollary to the primary loss is the secondary and very poignant loss in the lack of ceremony that I know many people throughout the world are experiencing due to the cruelty of our current circumstances.

And so, in the absence of an altogether proper repository for this grief, I will tell you about her here. While it provides a small measure of catharsis for myself, I also hope to give you a glimpse of how entirely remarkable she was.

As children, we experience the parts of the lives of our elders “before us” only as stories. We all heard and knew of the amazing history of my grandparents. Florine had an identity completely separate from the grandmother I knew and experienced as a child. And it was a significant identity. My grandparents were missionaries for 30 years in Guyana in South America. They came to the isolated Wai Wai tribe without the knowledge of the language and settled among the people and brought essential medicine and knowledge with them. I credit her humility with the fact that there was no push to radically westernize the tribe and many of their traditional practices were extremely respected and honored. My grandparents’ lives’ work was translating the Bible into the Wai Wai language. Florine was a brilliant and gifted linguist (she spoke a handful of languages well and could read and write in even more), and my grandfather credited her as making the translation “great” instead of just good. This was because she understood the emotion and nuance behind the language. She worked so hard at connection and conversation so she could understand more fully. As a gifted musician (more about that later), she translated hundreds of hymns and taught the people how to play them all. Up until just a few years ago my grandparents both continued writing Bible studies and other materials for the Wai Wai’s and sending them through the Internet. They loved hearing news from their friends in South America.

To me, Florine was my grandmother and I truly believe that was the favorite role of her life. She absolutely adored children. My grandparents never saw children as a bother or inconvenience. As kids my three brothers and I spent much time at their house, and my mom never remembers one phone call about coming to get us or needing to know how to handle us, etc. Mamaw always said grandmas are “antique little girls” and there was indeed something so childlike about her. To say time spent at my grandparents’ house was anything less than magical would be an enormous understatement.

She prepared very detailed tea parties, with tiny homemade cookies, crustless mini ham sandwiches, hot tea with all accoutrement, and stuffed animal guests. She would do all the voices for the animals as we all went around and drank our tea. She arranged plays we could perform for family members, practiced our songs and parts with us on the piano, taught us harmonies to sing, had my grandfather build elaborate sets and props out of cardboard. She made crafts with us and then also sewed many projects for us, including a unique stuffed animal based on whatever book was our favorite (mine was Raggedy Ann). One craft she made was to sew all four of us custom flight suits when my uncle was a young fighter pilot in the air force so we could be just like him. The flight suits all had our names sewn on them and she made custom patches for each of them...who does things like this?!?!?

She took me on countless trips to the arboretum and other gardens and taught me about the flowers there. She was a lifelong-lover of flower gardening, and every spring my grandfather was tasked with building another flower bed, or moving this plant or that one to get it arranged exactly as she wanted (she had arthritis so he was in charge of the garden heavy-lifting). She loved old fashioned varieties and her gardens were filled with her favorite iris, daffodils, pansies, spirea, daisies, and petunias. She put bird feeders all over her yard and loved watching the cardinals, blue jays, mockingbirds, and her favorite robins. She and my grandfather took us on numerous camping trips, packed up everything and even made sure we had a church service on Sunday mornings complete with flannel-graph Bible stories. Once I could drive, she and I would pack up snacks and I’d drive her all over Texas highways to look at bluebonnets, another of her favorite things. Both our grandparents taught my brothers and me a love for the outdoors and nature that we all carry with us today.

She LOVED music (or maybe I should say it simply exuded from her) and she played at least 5 instruments well, but in my mind as a child I imagined she had the ability to master any instrument she touched. I especially loved hearing her play the harmonica, but her favorite was her beloved accordion, which was often the featured accompaniment for our performances. She could transpose any musical piece in an instant, could play Chopin beautifully, and always played the most upbeat version of any hymn. She taught me about chord structure and how to sing harmony. She took me to see musicals and plays and then helped me learn all of their songs (she loved for me, as a five-year-old, to stand on the coffee table and sing “Tomorrow” from Annie).

When she read us books, she did all the voices. She was quirky and forgetful; she misplaced her keys at least a hundred times that I can remember. Then she would just make fun of herself and laugh. When she cooked, it was always for you. She wanted to find your favorite book, understand your schoolwork, come to all your choir/band performances, science fairs, and church events. She made you feel entirely SEEN. She also had a unique talent for ignoring all of your flaws, unless you made a grammatical error.

She smiled and laughed easily, even though she’d had a life full of heartache and loss. She was reflexively optimistic in every way. She was also truly wild at heart and a bit unruly and I think sometimes she just wanted to be back in Colorado riding her horses bareback as she had done as a farm girl. She didn’t always follow the rules, but she was so charming people always let her get away with it. She had a sparkle in her eyes all of her life, with the exception of the last few months. The last time the girls and I saw her in December, I knew she wanted to be with my grandfather again, and that she was feeling ready to go.

This past Monday, she suddenly became ill and started to quickly deteriorate. Taylor and I were on our way to Central Texas to sign some papers. The bluebonnets are at their peak right now and we saw them everywhere we went, but it was rainy and dreary. I knew she would be gone soon, but I went to bed peacefully that night because in my heart I knew she would wait for the sunshine so she could get a good view of the bluebonnets on her way out. And she waited after all. When she left the following afternoon, right when the sunshine was breaking and the sky was beautiful. I know she had a perfect view. Right before her body stopped working, two little robins were feeding in front of my yard, and one of them kept stopping to stare at me. This brought me peace, as well as knowing that my uncle was able to be with her at the hospital when she passed; I know that is a luxury not afforded to many right now and I’m so thankful.

I’ll miss her.
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