H. Michael Hawkins, 83, of Mt. Airy, MD, passed away on Thursday, October 5, 2023, at his home in Mt. Airy.
He was the beloved husband of Gail Hawkins (nee Full).
Michael was born August 9, 1940, in Washington, DC, the son of the late Kenneth M. Hawkins and Dorothy M. Hawkins (nee McKeever). He was the fourth of five children and grew up Washington, DC where his father was a school teacher and printer.. He was ten years younger than his closest older sibling, sister Margaret (Peggy); who, by all accounts, had a major role in his upbringing. His two older brothers, Ken and Richard, were combat fighter pilots in WWII and Korea (and Richard again in Vietnam). Michael established himself as the family academic, with a passion for reading and studying.
After high school, Michael’s love for the water found him enlisting in the United States Coast Guard. He excelled in the Coast Guard, rising to the rank of First-Class Petty Officer (E6) in less than five years. He served on several USCG Cutters, as well as graduating from the United States Marine Corps Drill Instructor School and serving as a Drill Instructor at the USCG’s recruit depot in Cape May, NJ. The Central Intelligence Agency took an interest in Michael’s maritime and leadership skills as the Vietnam War approached, and unbeknownst to his family, recruited him as a CIA operative. Details are scarce concerning his work at the CIA, and he was not one to offer any. At some point, Michael transitioned to the Atomic Energy Commission, where he served as Special Assistant to Commissioner Bill Anders, a former NASA astronaut. He was heavily involved in the country’s rapid response to the 3-Mile Island Nuclear incident in 1979. Michael was selected as one of the few civilians to attend the exclusive Industrial College of the Armed Forces, a school that is known to produce many of the military’s flag rank officers. Michael went on to serve in several executive positions in the nuclear power industry, including overseas tours at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
He married the love of his life, Gail, in 2006. They lived peacefully in Mt. Airy, MD where they enjoyed the company of dogs, cats and goats. In addition to Gail, Michael is survived by his children, Lieutenant Colonel, US Marine Corps, Jim (Tara) Hawkins, Michael (Jennifer) Hawkins, Heather (Todd) Vickers, step-sons Brandon (Stacy), Aaron (April), Damon (Mailinda) Dorsey, and father-in-law Emmett Full. He is grandfather to Kathleen, Matthew (Kayla), Daniel (Carmen), William and Ryan Hawkins, and great-grandfather to Raymond Hawkins. He was a good man and will be missed.
The family will receive friends on Wednesday, October 11, 2023 from 3:00pm to 6:00pm at Stauffer Funeral Home, 8 East Ridgeville Blvd., Mount Airy, MD 21771. Sharing memories will begin at 5:00pm. Military Honors and Interment will be held at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.