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Retired SCNLA Secretary Graham Hawkins Jr., Passes at 88

24 Feb 2015 10:41 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

Our Deepest Sympathy Goes Out to the Hawkins Family

It is with regret and sorrow that we announce the death of Graham E. Hawkins, Jr., retired secretary of the South Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association (SCNLA), SNA Honorary Member (1996), and husband of Elizabeth "Betsy" Hawkins, died Sunday, February 22, 2015.

Graham was born to Kitty and Graham E. Hawkins Sr. on December 21, 1926, in Richland County, SC, and spent most of his childhood in Greenwood. He was a graduate of Greenwood High School and Clemson University with a degree in Agriculture – Dairy. He served in the US Army and was a veteran of World War II.

Graham owned and operated a dairy farm, and later, a landscape nursery. He served as president of the South Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association, and then as the association's permanent secretary, a position he held until his retirement.

Graham was active in local politics in Greenwood, and enjoyed serving his community. He was an elected member of the school board, and was appointed county auditor by the governor. A person of strong opinion and personal involvement, Graham loved to share his views in the editorial pages of the Index-Journal.

Although deeply rooted in his local life, Graham loved to travel the world. His adventures included Japan, Greece, New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, and Russia. He was fascinated by the relationship of people to their culture, and the relationship of the culture to the surrounding landscape. He tirelessly annotated volumes of photographs, captioning them with his own observations. He enjoyed maps and travelogues, and took great pleasure in reliving his past adventures and planning his future ones.

More than anything else, Graham derived the greatest pleasure and satisfaction from his connection to his friends and family. A man of many successes, Graham defined his own personal success in terms of family relationships and lifetime friendships. He adored Betsy. He was enamored of his children and grandchildren. Their loves became his, and he and Betsy opened their home and their hearts to embrace a large extended family.

Graham was predeceased by his parents, his brother Ramsay Hawkins, and his sister Mary Susan "Sue" Hawkins. He is survived by Betsy, his wife of 65 years; his children (and their spouses) Claudia, Ed, Suellen (Jonathan), Jody (Pam), Al (Mindy), and Diane; his grandchildren, Jason, Sarah, Brian, Jasper, and Elise; along with numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend his memorial service at noon on Saturday, February 28 at the James A. McAlister funeral home, 1620 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29407. Visitation will follow the services.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the South Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association (SCNLA) Research Endowment Fund, 4661 Crystal Dr, Columbia, SC 29206.

The family would like to express our gratitude and deep appreciation to The Palmettos Assisted Living and Caris Healthcare for their wonderful care.

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