Joe Hawkins passed away in the early night of Nov. 3, 2018, at the Syracuse Good Samaritan Center. His wife of nearly 65 years, Helen Hawkins, was sitting nearby as he peacefully passed onto the next life. He was born on April 9, 1928, to Minor & Amanda (Shedd) Hawkins in Rochelle, Ga.
Joe attended school in Cary and Cochran, Georgia. He entered the Army in 1946 after high school graduation and served as a paratrooper in Japan during the post war occupation for 14 months. In 1954, Joe graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Agricultural Engineering. During the summers off from college, Joe worked the wheat harvest, where he met his wife Helen in Grant.
As a southern gentleman would, for their first date, he asked her if he could “carry” her to the movies.
Joe began his career as a cartographer for the Geological Survey making maps in the Rocky Mountain region and up and down the Midwest. His job often took him in the mountains on horseback where he would survey the land.  He later worked for the soil conservation service as an assistant area engineer in Lincoln moving to Syracuse in 1957. From 1961 until retirement in 1995 he owned and operated Hawkins Drainage and Tile Co. He was a member of the V.F.W. and American Legion. Past member of the Nebraska and National Land Improvement Contractors of America. In 1978 he won the Nebraska Contractor of the Year Award.
Joe received his pilot’s license in 1962 and flew many hours for business and pleasure. He and his wife Helen enjoyed traveling. They traveled to 49 states just missing Alaska. They also traveled internationally to England, Europe, Japan, China, Argentina, the Bahamas, and more.
Joe’s mind was always hard at work. He always had a book with him wherever he went so he could read whenever he wanted. He enjoyed building and inventing things and figuring out how things worked. Family, friends, and acquaintances also had to keep their guard up, lest they fall prey to one of his many pranks.
Joe will be dearly missed by all who knew him, and even in his later years of failing health he retained his sense of humor that always made him a joy to be around.
Survived by: wife Helen of Syracuse; children: Patricia (Chris) Brandfass of Lakeland, Fla., Ronald (Diane) Hawkins of Syracuse; grandson: Tyler Hawkins of Syracuse; sister: Lena Phillips of Cochran, Ga.; sister-in-law: Margaret Hawkins of Huntingdon, Tenn.; special family: Brad (Robin) Berner, Brandon (Becca) and children Hadyn and Mason Berner, Chantelle (Aaron) and children Jackson, Presley Jo & Carter Schroeder and many nieces and nephews.
Preceded by: parents Minor and Amanda (Shedd) Hawkins; brothers: Jesse Hawkins, Charles Hawkins and wife Jackie; brothers-in-law Lee Phillips, Cecil Brixius and wife Margaret, Earl Brixius and wife Nona, and Donald Brixius.
Funeral Services were to be held on Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 10:30 a.m. at the Luther Memorial Lutheran Church in Syracuse. Burial was to follow at the Park Hill Cemetery. Visitation was to be Tuesday, Nov. 6 from 9 a.m.. until 9 p.m. with family greeting friends from 5-7 p.m. at the funeral home in Syracuse. Memorials are suggested to the family’s choice. Arrangements are by Fusselman Allen Harvey Funeral Home, Syracuse, NE Condolences to