Thomas Hawkins Sr., the last surviving son of David Jack and Minerva "Tat" Hawkins has left this life and is now living on the other side with God the Father. He was a Natchez, Mississippi boy born and raised. He entered this life on the 9th day of October 1922, a 3rd generation Hawkins born 59 years after Slavery. Thomas attended elementary school on the Dunbars Plantation. He began his first real job at the age of 15 at Jefferson Military College under the leadership of Major Wasson. Thomas made the decision to leave the college in the Spring of 1942, and moved to New Orleans, LA. Upon his arrival, he was hired by the Higgins Boat Factory to build boats for World War II. He later began work for the Illinois Central Railroad where he retired from there 43 years later. While there, he was instrumental in the lawsuit that forced the hand of the Railroad to pay African Americans fairly and to hire young black men in high wage jobs. The lawsuit lasted 12 years and included 30 black men. Thomas was a proud member of the NAACP and voted until he was 95. He made sure his children understood the value of voting, getting an education and doing your best. Thomas was a faithful member at the Second Highway Baptist Church of Marrero, LA. for 40 plus years until his death. He served as a Deacon, a teacher of Sunday School and Baptist Training Unit (BTU). He leaves a legacy of love and kindness that will forever be embedded in the hearts of the many loved ones that are left to celebrate his life. Thomas was preceded in death by his loving wife of 69 years, Ophelia Scott Hawkins; his eldest daughter, Ruby Hawkins "Becker" Beckum, and youngest son Marvin Michelle Hawkins Sr.; grandchildren, Pamela, Kermit, and Keshell Washington, Alton Coats, and Brian Keith Hawkins; son-in-law, T. J. "Becker" Beckum; his parents, David Jack Hawkins and Minerva Davis Hawkins; 7 siblings, John, Albert, David, James, Willie, Leonard, and Doll Hawkins. He leaves to cherish his memories, his 11 children, Thelma Washington (George) Claudette Autrey, Thomas Jr., (Dorothy), Alton T.C. (Idessa), Kirby (Doris), Ronald (Iris) of San Antonio, TX, Debra Johnson (Kenneth), Carmen Walters Ph.D. (Wayne), Jarvis (Vera) of Houston, TX, James (Elaine), Angela Horne (Shanan) Houston, TX. He also leaves his beloved 27 grandchildren, 57 great-grandchildren, and 20 great-great-grandchildren. Devoted Nephews John Scott of Washington, D.C. and Charles Bass, Jr. of Natchez Mississippi. Two Sisters; Elouise Mae Bass of Natchez, Mississippi and Ruby Whiting of Chicago, Illinois; three Sisters-in-Law, Celeste Ruth, Dolores Scott, and Melvina Scott. A devoted friend, Deacon John Jones, Neighborhood sons; Vernal Smith Sr., and Javon "Jay" Harris. Services will be held at Rock of Ages Baptist Church, 6533 Acre Road Marrero, LA 70072 on Saturday, April 6, 2019, at 10:00 AM. Visitation prior to the service at 8:00 AM.
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