Donald was born July 19, 1929, in Montpelier, ID, to William Ernest Hawkley and Eva Viola Smith Hawkley. Due to his father’s work for Mountain Bell, his family moved multiple times each year throughout his childhood, as they went from job assignment to job assignment in southern Idaho. They finally settled in Pocatello, ID, during his teenage years. Don loved to fish with his Dad and enjoyed playing the French horn in band. He attended Idaho State University and then University of Idaho, earning a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering.
He married Olive Rae Woodland in 1953 and had four children: Jan (Dale) Lister, Kerry (Kathryn) Hawkley, Susan (Steve) Christensen, and Kevin (Debbie) Hawkley. Don spent his career working for the Bureau of Reclamation on numerous power plant projects at various dams throughout the western U.S. He retired at age 55 to spend more time with his family. Mom often said that she had too much husband and too little money during this time period. They were devoted to each other.
Don and Olive loved their children and visited many states across the U.S. as they travelled to visit their children and grandchildren. As they traveled, they would often visit cemeteries on their way to gather information about their family tree. The grandchildren would often query, “Need to stop?” as they drove past another cemetery. Genealogy became a large part of their lives, as evidenced by their church mission to Hyde Park Family History Center in London, England, and the reams of paper spent cataloguing genealogy in the bookshelves in their home.
Don was a strong supporter of Boy Scouts of America, spending innumerable weekends camping with the troop. He encouraged his sons and grandsons to not only participate in scouting but was instrumental in his two sons and three grandsons earning the rank of Eagle Scout. Many other young men also benefitted from his service to scouting.
Don was a firm believer in our Savior, Jesus Christ. He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and provided service to the church throughout his life. He held positions in scouting, genealogy, and temple work. He also was a counselor and executive secretary in the bishopric of the ward, helping to further the work of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He never said a bad or spiteful thing about anyone.
Don was a loving father and grandfather. He had the softest voice that carried the most power and taught life lessons to his family with love and concern. He died June 20, 2020, surrounded by many of his family. He leaves behind his 4 children and their spouses, 16 grandchildren, 41 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grandchildren. He will forever be loved and revered by his family. He was preceded in death by his wife, Olive, and two grandsons.
A visitation is open to all on Saturday, June 27, from 5:00-7:00pm, at Relyea Funeral Chapel, 318 N. Latah St., Boise. A private graveside service for family members will take place on Monday, June 29, at Terrace Lawn Memorial Gardens in Meridian.
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