In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Roy Dean Hawkins, 78

Roy Dean Hawkins, 1942-2021
IMB Photo

Roy Dean Hawkins, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Venezuela, died Nov. 10, 2021, at his home in Shawnee, Oklahoma. He was 78.

Roy was born December 25, 1942, in Parks, Arkansas, and grew up in Waldron, Arkansas, and Tulsa and Sand Springs, Oklahoma. He graduated from Charles Page High School in Sand Springs in 1960. He served from 1960 to 1964 in the United States Air Force in Oklahoma and in England, where he first felt called to preach. He remained in the reserves for two years.

Roy married his high-school sweetheart Judith Palmer in 1964 and began preaching while they were students at the University of Oklahoma, Norman.

Hawkins received the Bachelor of Arts from the University of Oklahoma in 1968 and the Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas, in 1972. He also received a degree in Spanish-language study from Escuela de Idiomas. He became an ordained minister in 1973.

In 1973, the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) appointed Roy and Judy as missionaries to Venezuela, where they served from 1973 to 2008. He had previously served with the Home Mission Board in 1968 in Florida and as associate pastor of First Baptist Church, Archer City, Texas, for two years. After retiring from the IMB, he served as a church planter for Oklahoma Baptists from 2010 to 2015.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Judith; two sons Charles Hawkins (Elaine) of Shawnee and  Carl Hawkins (Sharon) of Jacksonville, Florida; and four grandchildren.

A celebration of life was held Nov. 13, 2021.

Read an obituary here.