Ralph Matthew Hawkins, 81, passed away peacefully at his home in Central, Louisiana, on Monday, August 21, 2017. He was born February 7, 1936, a native of Ponchatoula, Louisiana and former resident of Baton Rouge and Baker. He was a veteran of the Korean Conflict while serving in the United States Air Force, a retired Baton Rouge City Police lieutenant, loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Ralph was instrumental in bringing BREC to the Baker area and served as an original member of the Baker Recreational Board. He spent several years coaching the youth of Baker in softball, basketball, football, and baseball. In his later years, Ralph enjoyed preparing income taxes and always looked forward to the next tax season as an opportunity to visit with many friends.
Ralph is survived by his wife of 62 years, Joyce Sansone Hawkins, five children and their spouses, Theresa and Camille Plaisance, Veronica and Danny McMurray, Ralph Jr. and Betsy Hawkins, Charlene and Brandon Hyde, and Ramona and Stanley Forbes; nine grandchildren, Casey Burris, Johnny Stephens, Amber Troutman, Matthew Hawkins III, Matthew Hyde, Barry Kowal, Katie Buvens, Kyle Forbes, and Chase Forbes; 11 great-grandchildren; and many loving nieces and nephews. He is survived by his sisters-in-law, Rose Mary Coye and Jimmie Nell Sansone; and brother-in-law, Daniel Sansone and his spouse, Dianne.
Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, James and Emma (Rushing) Hawkins; brother and sister-in-law, Arthur and Cherry (Hoyt) Hawkins; brother, Jessie Hawkins; sister, Ada Lea Hawkins; sister and brother-in-law, Eloise and Oscar Sibley; sister and brother-in-law, Myrtle (Birdie) and Charles Adams; grandson, Christopher Cory Burris; and dear friend and brother-in-law, Anthony Sansone.
Pallbearers will be Barry Kowal, Johnny Stephens, Matthew Hawkins III, Kyle Forbes, Chase Forbes, Connor Gardner, Michael Sibley, and Matthew Hyde.
Visitation will be held at Baker Funeral Home, 6401 Groom Road, Baker, on Thursday, August 24, 2017 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Visitation will continue on Friday, August 25, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. until the funeral service at 11:00 a.m. conducted by Pastor Glen Kirby. Graveside service and burial will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Baker.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to The Hospice of Baton Rouge, as well as the many friends and family for their prayers and visits over the past several weeks.
Relatives and friends may sign the online guestbook by visiting www.bakerfuneralhomeonline.com.