Ray John Hawkins, 89, peacefully went to be with his best friend, Jesus Christ, on Sept. 9, 2013, at his home in Duluth, Minn. Ray was born Nov. 15, 1923, in Chicago Heights, Ill., to Herbert and Hattie Hawkins. Ray's loving wife of 68 years, Priscilla Hawkins, preceded Ray's home going by only ten months. He is survived by his daughter, Carol (Preston) Cornelius of Guymon, Okla.; son, Paul (Connie) Hawkins of Pueblo, Colo.; daughter, Beth (Bill) Wentzlaff of Duluth, Minn.; grandchildren, Lynette (Shane) Cherry and Daniel (Emily) Hawkins; and great-grandchildren, Autumn and Cole Cherry. Ray was a WWII veteran. When the war ended, he and Priscilla started a Church of the Nazarene in Wichita, Kans., pastored in Denver, Grand Junction and Pueblo (Belmont), Colo., Clovis, N.M., Hooker, Okla., and after a semi-retirement, were chaplains at the Pueblo Villa for 13 years. Pastor Ray traveled to six countries for children's ministry portraying Biblical characters, performing Gospel magic and playing his trombone. Children loved being in Grandpa Ray's reading circle. For several years the science camp children from Guymon explored his constructed Space Shuttle, underground tunnels, and a full size whale because of his talents and imagination. He was an active member of Pueblo's Astronomy and Rock Clubs. Ray loved Jesus Christ, his family and all things to do with God's perfect creation. He will truly be missed. The family has set up a memorial fund joined with Priscilla's to help build a chapel on a new mission field. Visitation, 1 p.m. with the service to follow at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, at Belmont Church of the Nazarene, 1702 Bonforte Blvd., Pueblo, CO. Interment, Mountain View Cemetery. Online condolences, www.montgomerysteward.com

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  1. Our sympathies for the recent loss of your mom, and your dad a few days ago. Your dad and mine, Maurice Palmquist, were friends while pastoring on the Rocky Mountain District in the 1960s. I remember my dad talking about the great man your dad was.

    God bless your family, and know that your mom and dad are not just in your past, but they’re both in your future.


    Jay Palmquist and family.

  2. To the family of Ray:
    My deepest sympathy on the loss of your husband, father, grandfather.
    He came to Roncalli Middle School to share his rocks and knowledge of
    them with my students in my Science class. What a wonderful person
    he was! Always patient and kind.
    God Bless you all,
    Mary Ann Rotolo
    Retired Science Teacher

  3. Carol, Paul and Beth, my favorite thing to remember about your dad is how he always remembered me no how many years had passed or how dim his sight had become, that always made me feel very special. I remember his magic knife and how the red side represented the blood that Jesus shed for us and the white side that represented how Jesus’s blood took our sins away and made us white as snow. I never could figure out how just squeezing it would change the color. I really enjoyed going rock hounding with your dad and the church out in the prairie ravines, finding fossils in the rocks. His creative talents had no end. I can’t remember who was in the hospital but I was there and he came with a hand full of strait sticks and by the time he was done he had whittled them into a lovely bouquet of flowers! There were also the rockets that we would build and paint at bible school and then we would go and shoot them way, way up in the air. I have so many fond memories of your father and am sure you do as well. He touched the lives of so many people, what a great pastor, husband, father and friend. God bless you and may He bring you peace.

  4. Paul and Connie, I’m so sorry to hear about Ray’s passing. The past year must have been incredibly difficult for you. Please know that you are in my thoughts.

  5. Carol, Paul and Beth, we remember your father with such fondness. He will always hold a special place in our hearts. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families at this time. We were also sad to hear of Connie’s father’s passing. Our prayers are with your family as well. Take care.

  6. Many thoughts and memories of Ray and Priscilla especially our work and witness to Villa Flores, Mexico. Ray and I were the oldest so we got the special priilege of riding in a car everywhere and working on Bible School together.

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