John D. Hawkins, 71, of Newman died at 3:05 p.m. Wednesday (June 30, 2021) at Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana.
John was born on Nov. 24, 1949, in Paris, Ill., to John and Jeanne (Roberts) Hawkins. He married Mary Mulcahey on Aug. 8, 1970, in Bongard.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Hawkins; one son, John (Sara) Hawkins; three grandchildren, Charlotte, Amelia and Grant; three siblings, Sam (Teresa) Hawkins, Zala (Eric) Swigart and Glen (Cindy) Hawkins; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Beth; and a grandson.
When John was 45, he was diagnosed with a benign tumor compressing the spinal cord and was paralyzed from the chest down after its removal. Initially, it was felt that he would not walk again, but with uncompromising willpower, stubbornness and true grit, John walked many years afterward with forearm crutches.
Carle Physical Medicine and Rehab Department wholeheartedly assisted John in reaching his goals. They were always a phone call away; they never let him down. They followed him from age 45 until the end. John did not allow his disability to keep him from farming and driving his red Chevy truck.
A funeral Mass was held at 10 a.m. Friday, July 2, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Villa Grove, with Father Aloysius Ndeanaefo officiating. Burial will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery, Bongard. A visitation was held an hour prior to the funeral Mass (from 9 to 10 a.m.) at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Newman fire department and first responders, or St. Joseph Cemetery, Bongard.