R. S. "Buddy" Hawkins
R. S. "Buddy" Hawkins was born on July 26, 1924. He was a lifetime resident of Hot Springs. He attended First Pentecostal Church since age 7 and helped with the construction of the new church in 1952 designing the new light fixtures that remain the sanctuary today. He married Sally Imogene Reed, Rev. H.E. Reed's youngest daughter on April 4, 1942 and was a devoted husband and father to Lou and Norma.
Buddy started a legacy in Gospel Music in 1958 with "The Hawkins Family" traveling with his wife Imogene, and daughters, Lou and Norma. Winning many awards and accolades, but the most important thing was bringing souls to Christ through his music ministry and that of his family.
Buddy loved to work with his hands making many beautiful bowls and intricate things in his woodworking shop for family and friends.
After several years of Summertime Gospel Music at Arlington Park in downtown Hot Springs both Buddy and Imogene had a vision of a gospel music park where groups could be showcased and people could come for a blessing in the beautiful outdoors of Arkansas. In 1987 they landscaped an area on their property and opened it to anyone who wanted to come, relax and enjoy down-home gospel music. Still to this day, Hickory Hill Park opens the gates the 4th Saturday of each month May through September just as they dreamed of years ago. Groups from all over Arkansas and surrounding states continue the legacy of "The Hawkins Family" by bringing the gospel in song.
Buddy's life revolved around his wife of 45 years, children, and grandchildren as well as the last few years his great-grandchildren. He was so glad to be able to see his great grandchildren and show them the love for life that he had. He will always be remembered for his great sense of humor. His family and friends will be able to call on those funny moments that he brought to their lives for many years to come.
A very big void has been left in Southern Gospel Music when he went home to be with Jesus but a heritage has been left to his daughters that will continue to bless lives for years to come. His daughters and sons-in-law, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will miss his warm laugh and wisdom beyond measure but they celebrate his wonderful life and his contribution to Southern Gospel Music.
Imogene Hawkins
On September 13, 1921, a beautiful baby girl was brought into this world to H. E. & Mary Etta Reed. No one knew how special that little girl would become. She was the rock, the backbone of The Hawkins Family known as Imogene. Her Dad called her "Peggy" and no one was sure why.
Imogene's Mother died when she was an infant and her Dad remarried Ludie Mae Howell. Ludie loved and cherished her and her sister Midge and Imogene has many fond memories of growing up on Jackson St. in a two story house. It was there that she met a young man who lived at the bottom of the hill named Buddy Hawkins. Buddy had started going to her Dad's church and Imogene quickly knew that she had found her soul mate.
Buddy and Imogene's life together was not without rocky spots, but they never forgot where their strength came from. Buddy worked shiftwork at the aluminum plant when their first child was born, Lou. She was the light of their life. It would be five and a half years later before they were blessed again with Norma.
Imogene spent the next forty five years making a home for Buddy and herself. They decided in the 1950's that God had a work for them to do. They got a tent and struck out to the surrounding states holding tent revivals much like her Father had done in her early years. However, God showed them that he had another work for them in the Music Ministry that they established as The Hawkins Family. Mother's dream had always been a family group with the girls and later the grandchildren taking a large part in it. Her dream came true. She was the glue that held us together. She laughed at our antics and gave us harmony in our lives as well as in our songs.
We will eternally be grateful to God for Imogene being in our lives and for the beautiful alto voice that still rings in our ears. She kept us all in line as hard as that was. Her quick wit and laughter will always be in our hearts. Her Dad called her Peggy, Buddy called her Boog, her Grandchildren called her Grandma, but Lou and I called her Mother and our best friend. A very big void was left in our lives on August 7, 1987 when Mother went home to be with Jesus but we have million dollar memories and her legacy lives on.

"There's a message that encourages the discouraged, lifts up the downhearted,
excites the unexcited, and entertains the listener...it's called Gospel Music!
Let us bring glory to God as we sing it…"
-- Buddy Hawkins

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