William L. Hawkins Jr., insurance executive

He had been active in Catonsville rec sports

  • William L. Hawkins Jr.
William L. Hawkins Jr. (Baltimore Sun )
September 15, 2014|By Jacques Kelly | The Baltimore Sun

William L. Hawkins, Jr., a retired insurance executive active in Catonsville softball, died of complications from Parkinson's disease Sept. 10 at Suburban Hospital in Norristown, Pa. He was 88.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Brooklyn, he was the son of William L. Hawkins Sr., a grocer, and Elvera Nilson Hawkins, who worked alongside her husband. He was a 1943 City College graduate and senior class president. He remained active in the school's alumni association and planned reunions.

As a student at Western Maryland College, now McDaniel College, he enlisted in the Navy's Officer Training Program during World War II. He was assigned to Key West, Fla., and served in the South Atlantic.

After the war, he earned an economics degree at Western Maryland and worked for eight years at the family grocery store on Patapsco Avenue in Brooklyn. He then joined Equitable Life Insurance and later became a life insurance specialist for United States Fidelity and Guaranty. He retired in 1986 as the director of sales and marketing, and was a corporate officer. He then sold life insurance independently and worked out of his home on Holmehurst Avenue.

Family members said Mr. Hawkins was a motivational speaker and addressed numerous conferences.

More than 40 years ago, he coached a daughter in softball and basketball. He expanded his volunteer work with amateur sports and became softball and basketball chair with the Baltimore County Recreation and Parks Leagues in Catonsville

"Under his leadership, the programs grew from 100 girls to more than 700 girls in each program," said his daughter, Nancy Butters of Dagsboro, Del.

In 1984, Catonsville Elementary School's ball fields were named in his honor.

"His attitude was always sunny and positive," said his daughter. "He never met a stranger and loved people. He was always ready with an array of jokes, jests and put-ons that he used to fool and amuse."

Mr. Hawkins, who was active in the Holmehurst section of Catonsville, was named grand marshal of the 1996 Catonsville July 4th parade. In 2002, he received the Baltimore County Good Neighbor Award and was named to the Catonsville Parks and Recreation Hall of Fame.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at Catonsville United Methodist Church, 6 Melvin Ave., where he was a member.

In addition to his daughter, survivors include a son, William L. Hawkins III of Norristown, Pa.; another daughter, Eleanor Cwirko of Kingsport, Tenn.; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. His wife of 60 years, Louise Sunderland Sapp Hawkins, died in 2009. A son, Timothy A. Hawkins, died in 1965.


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