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Memorial Service

St. Christopher's Episcopal Church
Saturday May 28th, 2022
10:00am - 11:00am

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Ross Franklin Hawkins, Jr.

Ross Franklin Hawkins, Jr. "Frank", 91, passed away in his apartment at Harmony at Harbourview in Suffolk after a 5-month battle with cancer. Frank was born and educated in Richmond, Virginia graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1948. He then received a Bachelor of Science degree from Virginia Tech in 1952. Frank met Peggy Langston Burnett of Danville, and after a 6-month courtship, they married in 1953, settling down in Richmond after living in Frankfurt, Germany for 2 years where their daughter, Debra, was born. Their son, Keith was born in Richmond 3 years later. Frank and his family moved to Hampton Roads in 1965 where they have resided ever since, except for a 5-year period between 1975 and 1980 when he and Peggy moved back to Richmond.

Frank served for two years as a First Lieutenant in the Army at the base in Frankfurt. He was later promoted to Captain while spending an additional eight years in the reserves when he lived in Richmond. He attended law school at the University of Richmond for one year, and later received a master’s degree in Commerce from that institution. He also attended Rutgers University. In recent years, he received a Doctor of Business Administration degree (DBA) from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Frank was active at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Portsmouth from as far back as 1965. He served on the vestry several times, twice as Senior Warden, and seven years as Treasurer. He was also Chair and Treasurer of the endowment committee and served as a Trustee of the church.  Outside the church, he served as Chairman of the Portsmouth School Board, Portsmouth Area United Fund, Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, Portsmouth Chapter of the American Red Cross, and the Virginia College Fund. He also served on various bank boards.

As education was very important to Frank, he was proud to serve as Past President and Treasurer of Christopher Academy’s Board of Trustees. In addition to sending his two children to college, he made it possible for all six of his grandchildren to attend college. He loved his children and grandchildren very much, as evidenced by the fact that he hardly ever missed an art show, band concert, baseball game, cheerleading competition, dance recital, football game, rugby game, soccer game, swim meet, or violin performance.

Frank retired in 1985 as Executive V. P. and Chief Administrative Officer of the Eastern Region of Central Fidelity Bank (now Wells Fargo) after 30 years with that institution. Subsequently, Frank was employed for twelve years as Treasurer and Director of Finance & Administration of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia in Norfolk. After that, he was employed for 5 years as Assistant Professor at Averett University, primarily teaching Finance courses while he was in his seventies.

During the last 4 and a half years, he lived at Harmony at Harbourview where he continued to serve on several committees and led Town Hall meetings for a year. He made many friends, and enjoyed bridge, pool, and exercising. His children would like to thank the compassionate employees at Harmony for their kindness toward our father, from the housekeepers to the dinner servers to the administrators.

Frank was a devoted son, brother, husband, father, grandfather (Papa), and great-grandfather. He loved his church, his family, his friends, and he was a huge Virginia Tech fan!

He is survived by a daughter, Debra Hawkins Woodyard of Suffolk; a son, Keith Brantley Hawkins and his wife Stephanie of Chesapeake; six grandchildren: Branden Holder (Jonathan) of Kennewick, Washington, Jeffrey Woodyard of Norfolk, Brantley Hawkins (Hannah) of Orlando, Florida, Benjamin Woodyard of Suffolk, Travis Hawkins of Orlando, Florida, and Sarah Hawkins of Chesapeake; and a great-grandson, Tougar Beasley of Kennewick, Washington. He is also survived by a nephew, Vernon Shaw (Anita) and a niece, Angela Shaw, both of Richmond. He was predeceased by his wife of 65 years, Peggy Burnett Hawkins, his father, Ross Franklin Hawkins, his mother, Grace Davis Pace, his aunt Mary Elizabeth (Dut) Davis, and his sister, Mary (Judy) Pace Shaw.

A memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 28, 2022 at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church on Cedar Lane in Portsmouth by the Reverend Eileen Walsh, with a reception following. A burial ceremony will be held at a later date at the Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Suffolk. Memorial donations may be made to the Altar Guild of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church. R.W. Baker & Co. Funeral Home, North Suffolk Chapel is serving the family. 

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