Jerry Wayne Hawkins, loving family man, of Pierre SD passed away on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital, Pierre.
A visitation was Sunday, June 13th from 4:00 pm until 5:00 pm at Isburg Funeral Chapel in Pierre, with a prayer service beginning at 5:00 pm. The funeral service was at 10:30am, Monday, June 14th at Lutheran Memorial Church in Pierre, with burial following at Riverside Cemetery. For those unable to attend, the service will be available for viewing at www.isburgfuneralchapels.com and can be found at the top of Jerry’s obituary page. Memorials will be given to Feeding South Dakota and Pierre Community Dog Park.
Jerry was born June 2, 1939, in Newton, Kansas, the oldest of three boys born to Elden and Wileta (Welty) Hawkins. They moved to the family farm east of Pierre in 1943. Jerry attended Pleasant View Country School and graduated from Pierre High School in 1957.
Jerry married Sheryl Jean Soesbe, the love of his life, on June 2, 1962 in Fort Pierre, SD. They began their married life on the family farm and were blessed with six children, 17 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. The Hawkins spent numerous hours, days, and years attending their children’s and grand-children’s 4-H and State Fair activities, basketball and softball games, track meets, rodeos and dance recitals. Jerry’s family brought him incredible joy. He cherished the times they gathered at the Hawkins farm for pheasant hunts and family celebrations.
He was a true steward of the land, serving on the SD Wheat Commission, US Wheat Board, Hughes County Commission, and as a founding member of the Pierre Farmers Elevator Board.
Early in his career with the assistance of his children, he raised cattle and pigs, and over the years expanded the farm operation. He loved the planting and harvest seasons, and enjoyed watching the sunrise on his patio with his dog Bear, and more recently Bob.
Jerry is survived by Sheryl, his wife of 59 years; children: Kim (Doug) Paxton, Amy (Terry) Fitzke, Nikki Bothwell (Cody Warne) of Pierre, Rise (Todd) Waldera of Alexandria, and Sarah (Jess) Pekarski of Rapid City. Seventeen grandchildren: Jessica (Heath) Deal; Tyson (Danae) Paxton; Blake and Jenna Paxton; Jack Hawkins; Tayah, Jacy and Kade Waldera; Kortney (Eric) Schueth; Kelsey (Tanner) Besler; Tanner ( Jamie) Fitzke; Travis Fitzke; Sadie (Allen) Goodman; Tanner and Taylor Bothwell; Brecken and Stella Pekarski; and thirteen great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother Ron (Linda) Hawkins of Las Vegas NV; brothers- and sisters-in-law: Doris Hawkins of Pensacola FL, Ray and Abbie Rathbun of Fort Pierre SD, Rod and Judy Soesbe of Las Vegas NV, and Cheri Soesbe of Rapid City SD. He is also survived by longtime friends Kenneth “Butch” Jones and Mike Ronish.
He was preceded in death by his son, Michael Hawkins; brother Merl Hawkins; parents Elden and Wileta Hawkins; parents-in-law Glenn and Edith Soesbe; and brothers-in-law Terry and Jack Soesbe.