Craig Russell Hawkins, 74, passed away January 3, 2020, at Altoona Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Altoona, Iowa. He was born in Salem, Ohio, November 27, 1945 to C.J. (Joe) Hawkins and Erma Randolph Hawkins. Craig graduated from Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1963. He later studied horticulture and earned an associate degree from DMACC.
Book learning was not his forte, however, he was soon drawn to what he was truly meant to do – working outdoors with the fruits of the land. Craig really liked to mow the grass with a riding lawnmower; raise garden produce, especially sweet corn and tomatoes, selling some at the farmer’s market and giving the excess to the local food banks; and finally finding his “best” job of cutting and splitting firewood to be sold to a small number of folks who still wanted to burn real wood in their fireplaces.
His other great interest was steam locomotives which showed he was probably born in the wrong century since the “heyday” of steam was the 1800s and early 1900s. But he found several places that ran steam trains as an amusement, Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad being the closest, and others located in North Carolina, Colorado, and California. Craig managed to get a ride on many of those steam trains.
He served 5 years during the 1960s in the U.S. Navy and Naval Reserve, much of the time on the Columbus, a destroyer patrolling the waters near Vietnam during parts of that conflict. Besides a lot of water, he also saw many ports including Tokyo, Manila, Philippines, and Hawaii.
Craig worked several years for a container company running machines that made plastic bread bags and other plastic wrap. Later, he ran sorting machines at the U.S. Post Office. In his last years, he needed long-term care and the family is thankful for the many individuals at Altoona Nursing and Rehab as well as Suncrest Hospice who provided that care.
Craig is survived by his sister, Karen Hawkins, and cousins, Dan (Gay) Amundson and Teena (Paul) Kusche. He was preceded in death by his parents, and several aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Memorial services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, January 13, 2020, at Hamilton’s near Highland Memory Gardens, 121 NW 60th Avenue in Des Moines with burial to follow at Greenwood Friends Cemetery in Ankeny. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the funeral service.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the Animal Rescue League in loving memory of Craig.
Original source can be found here.