Bob and Nancy Hawkins, Middlebury, have had a lifetime of service to the community. This is why Rich Utley, 2015 Elkhart County Fair Board President, selected them as the parade marshals for the 2015 fair on Sunday, July 26.
Bob, born in St. Joseph County and Nancy, in Elkhart County (growing up in the New Paris area) were both nine-year 4-H members. Married in 1956, they raised four children, three daughters and one son, who were 10-year 4-H’ers. Their 10 grandchildren have been in or are in 4-H.
The Hawkins’ have served their local church as deacons, Stephen ministers, church board members and chair, Sunday school teachers, financial secretary and treasurer. Their service to the community is long and varied: serving on boards of Greencroft of Middlebury, Greencroft Foundation, and former board member and chair of Family Services; past president of the Elkhart County Home Builders Association; United Cancer Board of Elkhart County and Water Quality Association Board of Directors.
She has gone to Faith Mission to serve dinner monthly for over 30 years. They were honored in 2003 as Crystal Valley Exchange Club’s Golden Deeds Award winners and in 2012 they were parade marshals of the Middlebury Summer festival Parade.
Anyone needing help, the Hawkins have stepped forward to provide housing, transportion and counseling.
They have been involved in Elkhart County 4-H Fair in nearly all areas. In addition to their 4-H history, they started their business in 1967 and have been a commercial exhibitor at the fair for 44 years. He has been a member of the Exchange Club of Elkhart County since 1964 serving as an officer and can be found cooking lots of pancakes during the fair or selling bags of ice at the booth. He also cooks at the Loveway Ride-A-Thon and Salvation Army Pancakes and Sausage Day. She also helps at the Exchange Club booth.
Nancy is an active member of Homemakers of Today Extension Homemakers Club, a 50 plus year member, and has held various officer positions. She has been a past county president of extension homemakers, registers entries in the open class exhibits and was the 2000 Senior Homemaker of the Year. She has won top prize in the President’s Baked item five times — 1986, Jerry Sellon, apple pie; 1989, Steve Bartow, Butterscotch pie; 2001, Kelly Ropp, apple dumpling; 2005, Jeryl Hochstetler, raspberry cream and 2009, Gale Gerber, rhubarb custard pie.
Together they work to raise and organize funds through the Middlebury 4-H Boosters to attend livestock auctions to purchase 4-H animals to benefit 4-H youth from the Middlebury area.
“As you can see, these two people have dedicated their lives to serving and helping others and rightfully deserve to be honored for the gifts they bring to this community and the Elkhart County 4-H Fair. I truly believe that they stand as an example for all of us to follow,” said Utley. “If we all lived like they do, it would be a better world.”