Elijah's Story

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Elijah "Barney" Carl Hawkins, 77, Peru, was killed in an auto accident Monday, March 27, 2017. He was born Nov. 17, 1939, to Edward Carl and Goldie Mae (Schilling) Hawkins. Barney was born in Wawpecong, Indiana, and was a lifelong Miami County resident. Barney attended Clay Township School, where he participated in FFA and sports.

Barney learned the value of hard work at a young age while working on the family farm. He was employed in various tire stores before opening his own business, Hawk's Tire and Alignment, in 1972. Barney was well known for his generosity and dedication to providing exceptional customer service. He treated his customers like family. After selling the business in 1999, Barney continued to provide exceptional service to area farmers throughout Miami County.

Barney started driving a bus for Peru Community Schools in 2002. He enjoyed interacting with all of the students, parents, coaches, and staff throughout the past 15 years. Barney not only drove bus during regular school hours but could be found driving for many extracurricular activities as well. He would often keep score for the various athletic events.

Aside from tires, Barney thoroughly enjoyed sports. He participated in many sports, but his favorites were basketball, softball, and racquetball. Barney could be found most days enjoying a competitive game of racquetball at the Miami County YMCA. He traveled all over the United States to play in various sporting events, including the Senior Olympics, earning several medals over the years.

Barney never met a stranger and had earned the respect of many people in and out of Miami County. He was known for his generosity and willingness to help others. If he was not working or playing sports, he could often be found enjoying time with family and friends.

Barney was an active member of the First Christian Church. He enjoyed many church activities. He was baptized in May 2013.

Barney is survived by his wife, Susan Elaine (Czerwin) Hawkins; four daughters from his first marriage, Tonya Sue (Carl) Philpot, Betty Jean (Gary) Hall, Carla Jo (Doug) Young, Cheryl Lynn (Ray) Molder; eight grandchildren, Sue Ellen (Steven) Sopher, Christina (Kris) Knotts, Rodney (Kayla Coyle) McElfresh, Robert (Jessica Robbins) McElfresh, Randall (Emily Ayers) McElfresh, Bradley Molder, Austin (Bri Craig) Molder, and Nykolas Molder; five great- grandchildren, Christian McElfresh, Kain Sopher, Lachlan McElfresh, Arianna Molder, and Declan McElfresh; his two beloved furkids, BJ and Snowball; his first wife, Betty Sue (LaFerney) Hawkins; four brothers, Robert, Jack, Leon, and Herman; one sister-in-law, Janet Tyner; and two brothers-in-law, Lester Czerwin and Fred (Paulette) Czerwin.

He was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, George Ronald; a son, Jason Elijah; a grandson, Carl James (CJ) Philpot; and several sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law.

Visitation hours will be from noon to 7 p.m. Friday, April 7, at Zion Chapel Church, 915 S. Broadway, Peru. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 8, at the church, with visitation an hour prior to the service. George Dinkel will officiate. Burial will be at Mount Hope Cemetery immediately following the service. Family and friends may sign the online guestbook at www.FlowersLeedyAllen.com.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Flowers-Leedy Funeral Home.
Published on April 3, 2017
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