Charles Farring Hawkins
Aug. 1, 1946 – Sept. 13, 2019
Chuck was born to Jim and Mary Hawkins in Carmel, California.
In August 1950 Chuck arrived in Ninilchik, Alaska with his mother, father and younger brother. Within a year Ninilchik became Chuck’s home. By 1953 Chuck’s father and mother had established a homestead at Mile 126 of the Sterling Hwy. Chuck lived in Dillingham and Juneau before returning to Ninilchik with his mother and brother in 1959 to make this his home.
Chuck was salutatorian of his Ninilchik high school class of 1964, and in July of that year he entered the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He graduated from West Point in June of 1968 and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army.
His initial posting was in Germany where he stayed for one year. In early 1970 he went to Vietnam. He was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division. He was promoted to the rank of Captain and became the commander of A Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment. In early 1970 his battalion established Fire Support Base Ripcord. It was the last battle in the Vietnam war that was fought between the U.S. and North Vietnamese Regulars. It was because of Chuck’s actions during the Battle of Ripcord that Chuck received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with V (for Valor) device, the Purple Heart and several other accommodations.
After returning from Vietnam he spent some time at Ft. Leavenworth as a company commander, then separated from the active army and finished a distinguished career with the Georgia Army National Guard and finally the Virginia Army National Guard.
Chuck struggled for a few years trying to find his place in the civilian world. Being a talented writer, he utilized his skills working as a defense analyst with the Department of Defense and other contractors. His specialty became China and the Korean Peninsula. His first trip to China was in March 1997, followed by 50 trips total during the next 22 years. He worked with various Chinese Universities and PLA groups at conferences.
In the early 2000s, he began to divide his time between Maryland, Ninilchik, and work related locations. Re-establishing a life in Ninilchik, living in the family homestead was his deepest desire. He truly loved reconnecting with many friends and Bro and Sis. His joy of “jamming” with local musicians was without measure.
He was also involved with several charitable activities, his favorite being his efforts to raise money for North Korean refugees in China and helping them to reach freedom in South Korea. His latest project was establishing an organization entitled The Kenai Institute for Strategic Studies (KISS). He did like to keep it simple, always planning and building dreams … living life to the fullest each day.
Chuck is survived by his daughter, Jonelle Erichsen and husband Troels; granddaughter Sloane; his brother Richard (Dick) and wife Linda; his aunt, Mary Hackman; his uncle, George Pollard; nieces Rebecca Fender and Tamara Hawkins; cousins John and Susie Hackman (Gabe and Liza), Laura Hackman and husband Mike, (Jack and Ben), Ann Hackman and husband Mike, (Caitlin and Molly).
There is a service planned for 1 p.m. on Oct. 19, 2019 at the Methodist Church in Ninilchik, followed by an open house at the Hawkins Homestead. For more information call 907-250-0611. There will be another service on Aug. 1, 2020. Details for that service will be published at a later date.