O. Paul Hawkins, Jr. was a US Air Force veteran of 11 years who took part in the Berlin Airlift after WWII and continued his service in the WV Army National Guard for 15 years. He retired from the ministry after 10 years and subsequently retired professor emeritus from WVU-P after 27 years of teaching. He was born August 20, 1928 in Harrisville, WV and was the son of the late Orval Paul and Vera Hawkins.
Paul received his Master of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY and his Master of Arts degree in German from West Virginia University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. He was a member of the Vienna Baptist Church for 50 years. He joined the Masonic lodge in Berlin, Germany and transferred to the Blue Lodge #98 in Harrisville, WV. He was a 32nd degree mason of the Scottish Rite and a member of the York Rite.
Paul passed away on November 26, 2020.
Eva Betty Marie Hawkins was born on March 26, 1922 in Kreis Regenwalde, Pommerania, Germany the oldest daughter of Kurt Bruno Gerhard Zarnott and Anna Ida Marie Heidemann.
Eva suffered through the war, escaped the Russian invasion of Germany to Berlin with her younger sister, and met the love of her life O. Paul Hawkins Jr. during the Berlin Airlift and they married.
She was a honorable woman and together she an Paul raised four children. While she was primarily a homemaker most of her life, nurturing and caring for her family, gardening, and helping others, made her a blessing to anyone who met her as she took the word “friend” very seriously. As a “preacher’s wife”, Eva ministered in every church her husband pastored and was a member of Vienna Baptist church for over fifty years.
Eva passed away on October 7, 2021.
Paul and Eva started the Paul and Eva Hawkins Charitable Fund in July 2019 to support needy citizens of the Foundation's service area with preference to citizens in Ritchie County, WV. The preferred use of grants from this Fund are to be used to meet the needs of military veterans, students (traditional or non-traditionally) needing additional financial assistance for post-secondary education and individuals needing extra assistance to begin a career in Ritchie County. WV.