KEYSER, W.Va. — Dr. John Allen Hawkins, 61, of Keyser, died Thursday, May 9, 2013 at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, Cumberland, following a two month bout with pancreatic cancer.
Born on Aug. 30, 1951, he was raised in Clarksburg, W.Va., by his parents, the late Gerald and Mary Gail (Oliver) Hawkins.
Dr. Hawkins earned his Bachelors and Masters Degrees from West Virginia University and subsequently earned a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Maryland. He met his future wife Mary Theresa in 1972 and they were married on May 29, 1976.
John and Mary Theresa moved to Keyser, in 1979 when John began working at Potomac State College. While at Potomac State, he taught classes in music appreciation, music theory, great composers and jazz history. A dedicated professor of 34 years, he was loved by both his colleagues and students. His students often spoke of him as their favorite professor and he acted as a mentor to many, leaving them both encouraged and inspired to continue their educational journey. A phenomenal piano player, he organized and performed with the Potomac State Jazz Singers while also performing with the Potomac State College Community Band. In his spare time, he also performed as a solo pianist and as part of a trio or quartet and many wedding and functions in the tri-state area.
John had a special passion for musicals. His proudest titles were producer and musical director for Potomac State College Community Theater. Over the years, he was responsible for producing and musically directing numerous large-scale productions, including “Cats,” “Footloose,” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” He also penned the original score for “McNeill’s Rangers,” which was originally performed by the Apple Alley Players, of which John was a member, and most recently by Potomac State College Community Theater in John’s final musical production.
Dr. Hawkins was a longtime member of St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Westernport, where he served as a lector and sang and performed with the choir.
Surviving are his wife of nearly 37 years, Mary Theresa (Lockard) Hawkins; his four children, Matthew Hawkins and his fiancee, Hailey Strobel of Charlotte, N.C., Mary Kathryn Hawkins of Baltimore, Samuel Hawkins of Morgantown, W.Va. and Anthony Hawkins of Keyser; a grandson, Braedan Hawkins and a half sister, Dawn Williams of Baltimore; as well as many close friends.
Friends may call at the Smith Funeral Home, Keyser Chapel, on Sunday, May 12, 2013 from 6 to 9 p.m.
Mass of the Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Westernport, on Monday, May 13, 2013 at 10 a.m. with Father Eric Gauchat, O.F.M., Cap. as celebrant.
Interment will be in the Holy Cross Cemetery, Clarksburg.
Condolences and personal reflections to the family may be left after Dr. Hawkins’ obituary