It is with heavy hearts that we announce the sudden passing of Edward “Eddie” Frank Hawkins on March 31, 2023 at the age of 76. He passed away peacefully at home in his sleep. Predeceased by his parents Mary (Birx) and Edward Hawkins Sr., and his cousins Lyndia Bianchi and Mary Rose Bianchi. Survived by his younger sister Ann (Hawkins) Grimm, his son and daughter-in-law Patrick Hawkins and Lola Nemirovsky, his step-grandsons Aaron and Brian Shneydman, his ex-wife Margaret (O’Brien) McNeil and her children Jenny (McNeil) Montvitt and Brian McNeil, by his cousins Louis Bianchi, Ronnie Bianchi, Erika (Bianchi) and Mark Atkinson, Scott Bianchi and Stacey Fuller-Bianchi, Nicholas Atkinson, Lewis Atkinson, Jane Atkinson, Ryan Bianchi, Allie Bianchi, Debbie Bianchi, Julie Bianchi Macartney, and many other nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Eddie was born on August 7, 1946 in Rochester, NY. He spent much of his early childhood at his grandparents’ cottage in Canandaigua, NY, with his primary residence being in Rochester, NY. Eddie attended St. Ambrose Church grammar school through the 8th grade. Upon graduating from St. Ambrose, he continued his high school education at Aquinas Institute of Rochester, graduating from Aquinas in 1964. While at Aquinas, he was a member of their marching band, playing both the trumpet and the French horn. His marching band won the state championship and, with Eddie in participation, made an appearance at the NYC Thanksgiving Macy’s Day Parade. After graduating from Aquinas, he continued his formal education first at Monroe Community College, then proceeded on to St. John Fisher College for a year, before completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Biology at the University of Rochester in 1970.
In 1965, Eddie was introduced to the love of his life by both of their mothers. The matchmaking was a success, and he married his sweetheart, Margaret “Maggie” O’Brien in 1968. On April 28, 1971, they welcomed their son and only child, Patrick Edward Hawkins.
Always a patriot and a lover of our great country, Eddie joined the Navy as a Medical Corpsman in 1971 to support the Vietnam War effort. During his time in the Navy, Eddie and his young family were stationed at the Chelsea Naval Hospital in Boston, MA, then Eddie alone at Fort Monmouth, NJ, until Maggie and Patrick rejoined him at Asbury Park, NJ for the duration of his service at Fort Monmouth. He left active service in 1975.
After leaving the military, Eddie and his family relocated back to Rochester, NY. He then entered a new chapter in his life by establishing his own landscaping business, which he successfully ran with the help of his son until 2007. In addition to running his landscaping business, for 10 years from 1997 to 2007, Eddie also worked as a beloved and highly respected Certified Nurse Aide at St. Ann’s Community Nursing Home in Rochester, NY.
In 1978, Eddie and Maggie amicably divorced, and Maggie moved back to Boston with their young son. At the age of 13, Eddie’s son, Patrick, moved back to Rochester to live with Eddie. He then carried on the tradition of graduating from St. Ambrose Church grammar school and then from Aquinas High School.
Over the years, Eddie maintained a very close relationship with Maggie. This deep friendship and mutual affection lasted until his passing. Their love for each other eclipsed the circumstances of life, the span of time, and the distance between them.
Eddie and his son Patrick had an incredibly close relationship. They were two peas in a pod. In 2007, Eddie’s health took a sudden and dramatic turn for the worst, and he moved in with Patrick. Eddie remained under Patrick’s roof and under his ever-loving care until Eddie’s passing.
Eddie was known for his energy, his exuberant nature, and for his love of people, plants and animals. He was ever the jokester, with a propensity for lighthearted mischief. He loved a good joke and to share his comedic nature with anyone who would listen. He had a beautiful singing voice and belonged to The Rochester Oratorio Society, including singing back-up with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. He greatly enjoyed the arts, music, the theater, and loved to share his knowledge with others.
Eddie was a hard worker with a great work ethic. During his time in landscaping, he tried hard to instill these values in all those who worked for him. Eddie gave many people opportunities for work who may have had a difficult time finding employment otherwise. He believed in second chances and giving people opportunities to change their lives for the better. Through his efforts, he maintained life long friendships with several of these individuals.
Above all else, Eddie will be remembered for his beautiful, selfless heart. He was a soft-spoken gentleman with a gentle soul. Always kind, gracious, and with a smile on his face, he quickly endeared himself to anyone he met.
Eddie will be cremated through Rochester Cremation. A Catholic Funeral Mass will be held for Eddie on Thursday, April 20, 2023 at 11:00AM at St. Ambrose Church located at 25 Empire Blvd, Rochester, NY, 14609. A luncheon reception celebrating Eddie’s life will be held immediately following the Funeral Mass at St. John the Evangelist Church, located at 553 Humboldt Street, Rochester, NY 14610. All wishing to pay their respects are welcome to attend both the Funeral Mass and the luncheon to follow. Eddie loved attention!
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a small donation to either the Seneca Park Zoo or to Highland Park Conservatory. Both organizations were very near and dear to Eddie’s heart.