“His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Matthew 25:23.
A man of faith and a joyful follower of our Lord, Malcolm Bliss Hawkins peacefully concluded his journey on earth in his ninetieth year on October 13, 2013. God reached out and took the hand of his faithful servant and carried him to his heavenly home. For many years Malcolm had been at peace with his life on earth, and considered it fulfilled.
Malcolm will be remembered as a gentleman, and a kind and loyal friend. He was a generous soul who was always happy to share what he had and put others before himself. His quick wit was forever present, along with his handsome looks. He will be missed by the many whose lives he touched.
A much loved and respected husband, father, grandfather and uncle, Malcolm was an inspiration to his family. Strong, independent and proud, he approached his later years with grace, dignity and humor. His memories will provide strength to those he loved for years to come.
Malcolm is predeceased by his loving parents, William Washington “W. W.” and Cora Warden Hawkins, and his five brothers and sisters, William “Bill” Hawkins, Jr., Fred Hawkins, Della Mae Hawkins, Maxie Hawkins Donnelly and Louise Hawkins Cabaniss.
He leaves to cherish his memory his devoted wife of 41 years, Mary Glenn Long Hawkins. They shared a special love and in his later years, Mary supported him as a tireless, loving, and loyal caretaker. She was his angel on earth, and he loved her “with all his heart.”
Malcolm was deeply loved by his daughters, Ann Bliss Hawkins Gray and her husband, Michael, of Charlottesville, VA, and Lisa Carol Hawkins Lunceford and her husband, John, of Johnson City.
He leaves his treasured grandchildren, Robert (Robbie) Neil Moody and Katlin Grace Shepherd, both whom dearly loved and adored their “Papaw.”
Malcolm is also survived by several nieces and nephews, including two namesakes, William Bliss Hawkins (wife, Carolyn) of Mountain City, and Karen Bliss Cabaniss Michael (husband, John) of Charlotte, NC.
He is survived by his brother-in-law, Bobby Long of Bristol, TN, and sisters-in-law, Jolene Long Litton (husband, George) of Shelby, NC, and Daisy Long Everett (husband, Jimmy) of Mountain City.
Malcolm was born in Mountain City on May 6, 1924. He graduated from Johnson County High School in 1942 and attended Greenbrier Military Academy in Lewisburg, WV, until he was drafted in November 1943.
Malcolm proudly served in both the US Army Air Force and US Navy. His duties took him to Kingman Army Airfield, AZ, training base for Army Air Force aerial gunners, where he graduated gunnery school and became a certified B17 Tail Gunner. Bombing had subsided in the war and Malcolm was offered the opportunity to join the Navy. After his discharge from the Army he departed for the Bainbridge Naval Training Center in Maryland. His post-training duties took him to San Diego, Hawaii and finally Guam. Little did he know who he would encounter in the tiny South Pacific island.
Coach Harold Arnold, also stationed in Guam, recalls seeing a familiar figure across the street one day and exclaiming “Why that looks like Malcolm Hawkins!” - and it was. Halfway around the world, two friends from a small town in Tennessee, proudly served their country side by side.
Malcolm returned from Guam aboard the USS Wakefield. Carrying Malcolm and 6,684 other sailors, she docked at Pier 51 in New York Harbor on May 27, 1946.
Following his military service, Malcolm worked in local family store, “W. W. Hawkins & Son” and followed in those footsteps as a regional dry goods vendor. For several years he worked with his brother, Bill, at Discount Supply, and then worked until his retirement at Burlington Industries. Never an idle man, he was not content in retirement and became a popular greeter at the Elizabethton Walmart, and later the manager at Potter’s Store-All in Mountain City.
Malcolm was a member of the original Johnson County Honor Guard. Also, as charter member, he helped organize the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 6908 in 1968, and was their first Commander. He was lifetime member of American Legion Auxiliary Post #61 with an affiliation of over 67 years.
Malcolm was an active and loyal member of Taylorsville Masonic Lodge #243, Free and Accepted Masons in Mountain City where he served the fraternity for over sixty years. He served as Worshipful Master in 1971 and 1972, as well as in several other stations during his Masonic career. He was a Thirty-Second Degree Mason and a Noble of the Jericho Shrine Temple in Kingsport, TN. Over the years, Malcolm was very active in Shrine Paper Sales and other fundraising activities benefitting the Shriner Children’s Hospitals.
Malcolm grew up in the First United Methodist Church of Mountain City, and later became a member of Trade United Methodist Church where he served as Sunday School Superintendent.
Many of Malcolm’s special friends, several life long, predeceased him but always remained in his heart. They included John and Jimmy Butler, Bill Bower, Stedman Greever, Tom Grayson, John Stout and Jay Wills.
Malcolm was an avid collector of old coins and currency, as well as, local Indian relics and artifacts. The Hawkins’ siblings were all creative and talented, and Malcolm was no exception. A spirited artist and skilled craftsman, his memory will remain alive to family and friends through his vivid paintings, and meticulously built and decorated cabins. He became an avid fisherman as a young boy, and spend many hours enjoying the peaceful waters of local streams and Watauga Lake.
Dogs found a special master and home with Malcolm, and he openly shared his love and passion for his best friends and pals. His legacy of kindness to animals will live on. When a neighbor’s dog had four puppies, Malcolm offered to give one a home. After bringing his choice home, he felt bad for the others. And one by one, Whitie, Blackie, Boots and Brownie, all came to live with Mary and Malcolm. He had a special bond with all his dogs and exceptionally special to him were Morgan, and his last best pal, Pete, who was always faithfully by his side.
Rest in peace, Malcolm, Dad, Papaw, Uncle Malcolm. You will live vividly in our hearts and memories forever. Thank you for being our inspiration of kindness, honesty, selflessness and humor. Thank you for teaching us to appreciate the things we have, and the people who share our lives. “Everything is going to be all right. “
The family will receive friends at the Mountain City Funeral Home on Wednesday, October 16, 2013, from 6-8:00 p.m. A Celebration of Life service will follow with the Reverend Norman Reece officiating. Masonic Rites will follow and will be conducted by the Taylorsville Masonic Lodge #243 F&AM. Military Graveside Service and Interment will be private and will be accorded by the Johnson County Honor Guard.
Pall Bearers will be Larry Allen, John Brookshire, Todd Grayson, Jim Lowe, R. D. Oliver and Larry Potter. Honorary Ball Bearers will be Bill Adams, Terry and Karen Anderson, Harold Arnold, Bill Brookshire, Elmer Brookshire, Brent Burgess, Nelson Gray, Joe Lunceford, Bud Mount, Blaine Snyder, Delmer Stanley, Ralph Stout, Roger Sturgill, Lewis Wills, and members of the Veterans of Foreign War Post #6908, American Legion Auxiliary Post #61, and Johnson County Honor Guard.
The Hawkins family would like to convey their appreciation for the loving care provided to Malcolm by the staff of Ivy Hall Nursing Home and Caris Hospice, both in Elizabethton, TN, and Mountain Home VA Medical Center, Johnson City, TN. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Malcolm’s memory to the Johnson County Rescue Squad, 203 Vandilla Street, Mountain City, TN 37683.
Condolences for the family may be offered online at www.mountaincityfh.com.
The family of Malcolm Bliss Hawkins has entrusted his services to Mountain City Funeral Home, 224 S. Church Street, Mountain City, TN 37683.