Cover photo for Joseph Hawkins's Obituary
Joseph Hawkins Profile Photo

Joseph Hawkins

February 15, 1932 — February 15, 2021

Joseph Hawkins

Joseph Donald Hawkins, much-loved Father, Grandfather and Great-Grandfather, passed away on November 18, 2021 at Schneidmiller Hospice House in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

Joseph Hawkins was born in Baltimore, Maryland, May 29, 1932 to parents Alphonso and Lucy (Boone) Hawkins.  He was the second child of their three children, older brother Robert, and younger sister Joan, all of whom have pre-deceased their brother. He met his wife, Miyako Koinuma, in Tokyo while he was in the US Air Force stationed nearby, and she was a student at Aoyama Gakuin.   They were married on October 20, 1954.  After Joseph Hawkins was discharged from the US Air Force in 1955, they returned to the United States to California where they lived in Sacramento, East Palo Alto and then settled in Los Altos to raise their family over the next 30 years.  Joseph moved to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho from Bodega Bay, California in 2015 to be closer to his two daughters who had relocated, or were in the process of relocating, from California.  His wife, Miyako, passed away in August 2019.

Joseph Hawkins was a graduate of Stanford University with a degree in Electrical Engineering.  During his career, in addition to working for several Silicon Valley firms and managing a telecommunications firm in Wuppertal, Germany, he founded several companies, including firms that designed and manufactured lasers, and designed early fiber optic data transmission systems.  He was able to retire in the early 1990’s when he sold the last company he founded.

Joe’s retirement allowed him to pursue his lifelong passion for sailing in a big way, and in 1992, he sailed with a crew of two aboard “Content”, his Crealock 37, from San Francisco to Hawaii, and back again.  There followed many voyages up the west coast of the US, and all the way to Alaska.  Joe started his sailing adventures in the 1960’s by building a 10 foot mahogany gaff rigged boat kit, and would take his children sailing at a local lake.  The Hawkins’ sailing crafts then progressed to a Lido 14, Santana 22, a brief ownership of a Pearson 27, the Crealock 37, and his final project was the restoration of a retired Coast Guard launch in Bodega Bay, CA named the Blue Jacket.  His children and grandchildren, as well as friends and work colleagues, remember fondly their sailing and boating adventures in San Francisco Bay, up and down the US west coast, Alaska, Hawaii, and Bodega Bay with him.

To describe Joseph Hawkins as an avid reader does not do justice to the hundreds, and possibly thousands, of books that he read throughout his life:  Poetry, History, Military History, English Literature, Philosophy, Theology, Science and Technology, other fiction, and any subject that captured his interest.  Very likely, tied to Joe’s wide reading, was his gift of making interesting friends wherever he went all over the world and his ability to engage in conversations on any subject.  Joe also had a passion for music and was an avid collector of recordings of classical music from early to modern composers. He most certainly was an important influence who inspired a love of reading and music in all his children and grandchildren.

Joseph is survived by his seven children:  John Hiroshi Hawkins (Lisa), Robert Ken Hawkins (Rita), Claudia Ryo Gough (Nicholas), Geoffrey Tomo Hawkins (Pamela), Christopher Jun Hawkins (former wife and mother of their children, Leah), Thomas Yutaka Hawkins, and Anne Miyako Hayes (Kent), his 13 grandchildren:  Arianna (Aden Scott), Simone, and Helena (David Sheyman), Christopher, Colin, and Anne (Daniel Gaines) Gough, Mia, Joseph, and Luke Hawkins, Catherine, Nolan, Sean, and Gregory Hayes, and three great-grandchildren: Harry Scott, David and Miyako Gaines, residing in the United States.  He is also survived by nieces and nephews residing in in the United States.

A Rosary will be held at the English Funeral Chapel, 1700 N. Spokane St., Post Falls, ID 83854 on Sunday afternoon, December 5, 2021 at 3:00 PM.  A Funeral Mass will be held the following morning, Monday, December 6, 2021 at St. Joan of Arc Church, 4772 E Poleline Ave, Post Falls, ID 83854 at 9:45 AM, followed by a Repast in the church hall.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Schneidmiller Hospice House, 2290 W. Prairie Ave., Coeur d’Alene, ID  83815.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joseph Hawkins, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Sunday, December 5, 2021

Starts at 3:00 pm

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Mass of Christian Burial

Monday, December 6, 2021

Starts at 9:45 am

St. Joan of Arc Roman Catholic Church

4772 E Poleline Ave, Post Falls, ID 83854

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