Robert Hawkins

Obituary of Robert Leroy Hawkins

Deacon Robert Leroy Hawkins, beloved father, grandfather, uncle, brother-in-law, and friend was born on September 11, 1929. After a life dedicated to Christ, he made his way to heaven to be with God and reunite with family and friends on February 5, 2024. Affectionately known by many as "Bob" or "Bobby", he was born as one of eight siblings to the late Mamie and Frank Hawkins in Elkridge, Maryland on Race Road. He grew up in the church and was baptized as a member of the First Baptist Church of Elkridge. As one of eight children (Edna, Clarice, Gertrude, Frank,Sr., Katherine, Blanche and William). Bobby always enjoyed his family time and discussing their history. He was the unofficial family historian keeping great records, photographs and constantly researching his ancestors. He often shared the stories of growing up on Race Road across from the Willow Garden and spending time with some of the elders in the community that were former slaves. One of his most cherished honors was bestowed upon him by his sisters and brothers upon the passing of their father - when they selected him as the head of the family. Bobby attended Elkridge School on Church Avenue - a one-room schoolhouse where the students moved from one side of the room to the other to separate by grade. He then went to Cooksville High School in Cooksville, MD where he had a 2-hour commute. Bobby asked his father to transfer him to Douglas High School where he thrived and eventually graduated in 1942. He then went on to attend Morgan State University. He would often tell the story of his almost 3 hour journey to Morgan from Elkridge each day and the buses he had to catch and the many miles he had to walk in order to be on time. While at Morgan, he participated on both the wrestling team and the track team, running the 440. He was also a member of Beta Sigma Tau Fraternity and would go on to serve as their President. He graduated from Morgan State University in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He would also become a member of the M.J Naylor Chapter Alumni Association of Morgan State University and would later serve as its President. He then attended the Franklin School of Science and Arts in Philadelphia, PA and earned a degree in Laboratory Science. He proudly served his country as a member of the United States Army from 1954-1956. In 1954 Bobby married the love of his life, Lillian Ann Rideout of Catonsville, MD, and God blessed their union with two caring and loving sons, Frank and Drew. The family lived in Catonsville, MD where Bobby became heavily involved with local community organizations. Bobby celebrates a 70-year membership at Morning Star Baptist Church, where he thrived, served, and leaves a lasting laegacy of faith and trust in God. This relationship with Morning Star began when he, and his then fiancé, Lillian, visited the church in 1954. Bobby and Lillian would get married at Morning Star and become active members of the church community. Bobby originally started out his Morning Star service by teaching Sunday school and singing on the Senior Choir. Bobby then expanded his service to the Morning Star community by being appointed to the Trustee Board, eventually serving as its chairman, serving on the renovation committee for the Roberts Avenue church, and then serving as the Chairman of the Building Committee for the building of the 154 Winters Lane facility. Bobby would later be ordained and become a member of the Deacon Board. Throughout Bobby's years at Morning Star, he was an active member who provided mentorship and guidance to those looking to serve and grow. Bobby was an active baseball and football coach in the Catonsville Midget League. He then served as the equipment manager and eventually was nominated as the league's President. While president he grew the organization's reach and served as a leader and mentor to many young men. Bobby arranged group visits for the league to attend Baltimore Orioles games which eventually led to him being asked to join an organization of volunteers called the Designated Hitters, that assisted the Orioles with season ticket sales. Bobby was the first African American to join the Hitters and had the opportunity to travel with the team on many occasions to spring training, the All-Star Game, and numerous World Series events. In 1983 Bobby was appointed to serve as a Member for the Baltimore County School Board. He was the first African American to be appointed to the Board and proudly served from 1983-1989. During that time he served as the Chairman of the Budget and Audit Committee. Bobby was also active with the Western YMCA volunteering on various committees and serving as the Vice Chairman of its Board. Bobby's strong work ethic developed at a very young age. In talking about his early years of work, he mentioned cleaning the big house on Lawyers Hill for 50 cents a day and then becoming a golf caddy at Laurel View Golf Club and getting $1.50 for carrying a golf bag for 18 holes. His professional career started with his work in research at the Rosewood State Hospital. He would then go on to work as a Research Assistant in the Pediatric Research Department and the Division of Neonatology at the University of Maryland. Bobby then became the Research Coordinator in the Department of Pediatrics and would later retire from the University of Maryland. During his career he co-authored more than 20 scientific articles that were published in leading scientific magazines. Bobby also had his real estate license and sold real estate for H. Williams Realty Company and ran his own in-home tax service called the RLH In Home Tax Service. He was affectionally known by his clients as the "Tax Man." Bobby received a host of awards and honors throughout his years to include: • Catonsville Business Association as the Citizen of the Year from 1978-1979 in recognition for his contributions to his community, the youth and his church. • Governors Citation for Outstanding Service to Community from Governors Marvin Mandel and Harry Hughes. • Appreciation Award from Baltimore County Executive Donald Hutchinson. • Citation of Appreciation from the Baltimore County Delegation to Annapolis • Cited by the Catonsville Midget League for his years of involvement and leadership When not working or serving his community Bobby's hobbies included fishing, studying the Bible, cooking, and playing Scrabble - of which he rarely lost. He also enjoyed attending Orioles and Baltimore Colts games with members of his family. Gardening also became a passion over the years. Bobby grew over 20 various types of fruits and vegetables in his 3-acre garden. Most of all Bobby cherished spending time with his family - telling stories of old with his siblings and providing words of knowledge and encouragement to younger generations. Bobby was known for his generosity and loving spirit. He met and made new friends throughout his entire life. Even at the end his spirit and friendliness was apparent as the staff of both Lighthouse Senior Living and Spring Arbor held him in high regard as one of their favorite residents. Bobby was a dedicated husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, friend, and mentor to all. He is survived by two loving sons, Frank Douglas Hawkins and William Drew Hawkins, a daughter-In-law, Sherri Vilov, two granddaughters Natalie Hawkins and Sophie Hawkins, a devoted niece Deborah Thomas, a brother in law, Tommy Rideout IV, a sister in law Deborah Rainey Hawkins, long-time family friend Brigitte Williams Genovese and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. While we are saddened about his departure of this life, we know that he is now enjoying the fruits of his 94 years of devotion and labor with his Creator, family and friends. A viewing will be held on Friday, February 16, 2024 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Vaughn Greene Funeral Services, 8728 Liberty Road, Randallstown, MD 21133. On Saturday, February 17, 2024, a homegoing celebration for Mr. Robert L. Hawkins will be held at the Morning Star Baptist Church, 1512 Woodlawn Drive, where the family will receive friends from 11:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. with services to follow. The interment service will be held at Arbutus Memorial Park, 1101 Sulphur Spring Road, immediately following the homegoing service.
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Visitation at Funeral Home

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Friday, February 16, 2024
Vaughn C. Greene Funeral Services
8728 Liberty Road
Randallstown, Maryland, United States

Funeral Service

11:00 am
Saturday, February 17, 2024
Morning Star Baptist Church
1512 Woodlawn Drive
Gwynn Oak, Maryland, United States

Final Resting Place

2:00 pm
Saturday, February 17, 2024
Arbutus Memorial Park
1101 Sulphur Spring Road
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
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