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Metro Crash Victim: Dennis Hawkins

Dennis Hawkins was among the casualties in yesterday's Metro accident. If you knew Hawkins, we'd love to hear your anecdotes and memories in this space.

The entry date of this post does not reflect when it was written. It was written Tuesday, June 23.

By Adam Bernstein |  June 17, 2009; 3:53 PM ET
Previous: Metro Crash Victim: LaVonda "Nikki" King | Next: Metro Crash Victim: Mary Doolittle


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I truly praise Jesus that He brought us together as co-workers, and just within a short time as brothers in Christ. It's hard to type this without tears coming down my face, but I realize that my Faith is in Jesus, and He makes no mistakes. I'll always have the fond memories to remember you, and the wisdom that the Holy Spirit instilled in you to instill in me. I Love You Mr. Hawkins, forever my Friend.

Posted by: brianhilliard30 | June 24, 2009 12:39 AM

I have had the pleasure of meeting Mr.Hawkins through my child that attends Whittier. He was always so welcoming and polite. With all the work that he had to do during the day; He always found time to greet with a smile. I know that he will definitly be missed.

Shanay Teeter

Posted by: shanayTeeter1 | June 24, 2009 9:00 AM

I still can't believe it. God knows what's best and he doesn't make mistakes. There are so many memory's. He was my husband's best man (James Hayes) at our wedding 19 yrs ago. We fellowshiped together at Bethesda Baptist. When we moved to NC we continued that friendship. He will truly be missed by many. To the family, we are very saddened by your lost and will continue to pray for you.

James & Lori Hayes

Posted by: lyhanley | June 24, 2009 9:08 AM

I am also an employee of the District of Columbia Public School System. I am very saddened at the lost of one of my colleagues. May the Lord be with his family during this time of grief, and may his memory live on.

Posted by: elp6216 | June 24, 2009 9:45 AM

I had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Hawkins when I became a member of Bethesda Baptist Church. I found him to be a true person, caring and considerate. He always made you feel welcomed. God bless the family he leaves behind, he has gone to his heavenly home. He will surely be missed.

Posted by: deebless1 | June 24, 2009 10:09 AM

I am the Grandparent of two Whittier School children. Mr. Hawkins always took time to assist me with my Grandchildren. I knew that if Mr. Hawkins said he would handled it, it would be handled. He was a very pleasant, lovely person. It was a pleasure, everytime I spoke with him. Hawkins Family we truly share your loss!

Jan Hailes, Robyn, Antonio & Amanda Reyes

Posted by: jnhailes | June 24, 2009 10:31 AM

To the family and friends of Mr. Hawkins, I did not know him, nor had the pleasure to meet him; however, I am offering my condolences to the families of those who lives were lost in the Metro accident. I is such a tragedy that will stay with us a long time. As a Christian, it is also assuring to know that every single person who lost their life that painful day - touched many other lives in a very positive way! The Nation is praying for all of you also.

Posted by: pndrvs4Obama | June 24, 2009 10:54 AM

I taught ESL at Whittier for 2 years. During my first year, Mr. Hawkins worked in the classroom with one of the first grade teachers. The teacher loved him, affectionately referring to him as "my father". The children adored him; especially two boys who struggled with behavior issues. Mr. Hawkins was often the "go-to" person when children had behavior issues. In his calming presence, the children could not help but feel loved and cared for. On several occasions that first year, we would walk across the Coolidge field in the direction of the metro since his car was not working. We talked about religion, music, how he grew up in a large family and the racial prejudice he had experienced during his first career. We also talked about my then infant daughter and my struggles balancing motherhood and work. Every time he saw her, he would exclaim, "Look at that beautiful child! Isn't God good!" Without him ever knowing it, his words and his stories gave me strength to carry on in my role of mother, wife and career woman. While working in the office, he was the ultimate diplomat, never losing his temper during moments of crisis. Furthermore, if ever you needed anything, and all other doors were closed to you, he would assist you. He would say in his calm voice, "Okay, Ms. Ross. Alright. I'll take care of it. Come back in a few minutes". Although, I don't work at Whittier anymore, in March Mr. Hawkins called me to ask if I could help him start an after school language program for the children. He said that he thought the children needed a chance to broaden their horizons. I told him that I would do anything necessary to support him in assisting the children, especially since he had done so much for us all at Whittier. Two Mondays ago, I stopped by Whittier for a visit. I saw him go into what is now the computer room but was once Mr. Mayo's gym class. I dashed down the hall and pressed my nose and fists against the door and yelled, "Mr. Hawkins! How are you? I gotta go but I wanted to say hi!" That's the last I saw of him, looking so nice in his white shirt and tie, and as always, with his slow easy smile and a low chuckle.

Posted by: chantalross09 | June 24, 2009 11:04 AM

I am truly devastated as my daughter and I watched the news to realize that one of the faces of the metro train victims was one that was familiar. This was my daughters first year at Whittier, and I had the honor to meet Mr. Hawkins on rare occasions when I would bring my daughter to school late due to a doctors or dentist appt. He was truly a loving, caring and dedicated person who loved to help others. My prayers go out to his family and the families of the other victims. I know he will be truly missed and my daughter is going to miss him seeing him.

Posted by: khilliard77 | June 24, 2009 1:11 PM

I've known Dennis Hawkins almost my whole life. As a student in Sunday School, as a group member on our missionary trip to Mississippi, as a parent of a child at Whittier, and as a close family friend. He lived selflessly according to his faith in Christ. His life is truly a testimony to many. Bro. Hawkins, we love you dearly and will miss your presence here with us.

Posted by: cbanks75 | June 24, 2009 1:18 PM

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Hawkins at Webb Elementary. He was my daughter's 6th grade teacher. He always had a smile for everyone, even when the kids were misbehaving. Since I worked at the school also, I would always have a running update on what was going on with my child. She thought he was being hard on her, but he was only showing he cared. I would occasionally run into Mr. Hawkins after he left Webb and he would always ask how my daughter was doing. In later years she realized that he saw potential in her and just wanted her to succeed. I thank him for making my daughter focus on what was important...her education. Now through a lot of hard work and Mr. Hawkins' influence she is a proud member of the Class of 2009 and getting ready to attend college. He will be truly missed. My sympathies go out to his family, my GOD bless you and keep you through this trying time.

Posted by: thomasstacie | June 24, 2009 4:19 PM




Posted by: | June 25, 2009 2:38 AM

Dennis was such a kind, gentle and very efficient Christian gentleman. We grew up in Bethesda Baptist Church in NE Washington and for over 30 years plus, we have shared in worship and praise and he served the late Pastor John Dallas Bussey well and the former Pastor Michael A. Black and he was known for his striving for perfection. I will always remember the respect and love he showed to my parents, Pastor Emeritus Chester & Bertha McDonald who was the son of Bethesda left to become the Pastor of Maple Springs Baptist Church. Dennis has passed from death unto life and is now in the "cloud of witnesses" ! Praise God and may the good Lord comfort his loving family. Find comfort in John 5:24 and John 14_1-6 Peace and love, Overseer Chester A. McDonald, Jr., Gospel Bible Missionary Baptist Church

Posted by: camjr2 | June 25, 2009 8:31 AM

I grew up in the NE area and attended Bethesda Baptist Church along with my parents the Deyo's, this is where we met Dennis, one of the nicest people you could ever meet. His place will definately be on the right hand side of GOD. This is truly a sad time for anyone who knew him. May his family and church family find comfort during this time of bereavement and may GOD bless and comfort you.

Posted by: bonitastewart | June 25, 2009 11:30 AM

All death is a tragedy, but Humanity lost a truly good man this day. Dennis Hawkins was a dear friend to my family. My father, Major Hinton, Sr. and sister, Doris V Holmes had especially fond feelings and memories of Dennis.

Personally, he was always there with a smile and a word of encouragement. I especially enjoyed his singing with the Male Chorus. The Hinton Family is at a lost for words but wants the entire Bethesda Baptist Church Family and the surviving Hawkins Family to know we reveled in his life and feel the lost. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Major Hinton, Jr.
Hinton/Holmes Families

Posted by: majorhinton1 | June 25, 2009 12:27 PM

I worked briefly with Mr. Hawkins at Whittier Elementary. He was a kind, gentle soul. My deepest condolences to his family for your loss. God bless you.

Posted by: Toroitich | June 25, 2009 9:36 PM

Dennis' life will continue to speak for him even though he is no longer on this side of heaven. He was a dear friend of the Thompson family and my prayer partner in recent weeks. His sense of humor, passion for helping others in need, and his servant-like spirit are legacies he has left behind for all of us. Just 3-days before his death, he prayed for my son as he went off to Hampton University. On the same day of last Monday's Metro incident, my son was admitted to a hospital in Hampton , VA with a ruptured spleen which resulted in a 3-day hospital stay. I have no doubt that Dennis' prayer for God to protect my son and keep him safe uttered just 3-days before his death was a request that God honored.

Dennis had a peace that exceeded the understanding of many simply because he believed in the sovereignty of God. He spoke openly about God's sovereignty and this is what allowed him to maintain that humble servant with a tender heart, always available to assist any way he could, always in control of the situation and circumstances around him. And, if he ever was "out of control" as I and many of us often do, Dennis always was able to have a personal counseling session with the Lord Himself and be transformed.

To the Hawkins family and my Bethesda Baptist family, we will truly miss Dennis but we will see him again in glory. Dennis is happy in the presence of the Lord. 1 Peter 5:6-11 says:

"Humble yourselveds, therefore under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of suffering. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen"

Posted by: mthompso | June 27, 2009 9:37 AM

Dennis Hawkins was a phenomenal friend. I shall miss deeply his winsome smile, and his heart warming greeting, "Hey, Phil, how are you brother.", and the blessed hug that followed. He exuded a love for his Lord, Jesus Christ in everything he did. We were to have lunch together a few weeks ago, but had to cancel due to the passing of his mother. That time together was simply postponed.
Dennis felt a powerful calling to teach the bible and the word of God. He had a great love for the bible, and a great love for the solid teaching and preaching of God's Word. Indeed, the first time we met was at a Men's Conference where the bible was being taught. The moment I saw, and spoke with Dennis, our hearts touched, and I knew I had met a true brother in Christ. Dennis has allowed me to understand profound meaning in the line of that old hymn: "Blessed be the tie that binds our hearts in Jesus’ Love...” I shall miss him dearly, but take great comfort in knowing that he is now with the Lord he sought to serve so well, and whose work he was tending to do on that fateful day.

Posted by: philfanara | June 27, 2009 9:03 PM

There are so many memories that come to mind when I think of Dennis. He was very special to our entire family. I first met Dennis about 40 years ago as the big brother of a couple of his sisters, who were my classmates. I soon developed my own relationship with Dennis as a brother in Christ at Bethesda Baptist Church; singing in choirs, serving in Sunday School, helping me out when he was a very busy Church Clerk, going to the Billy Graham School of Evangelism together, etc. He always found time to talk and laugh, even the day before the accident, I was wishing him Happy Father's Day ('cause he's been like a father to so many) & he was asking about my 25 yr. old daughter of whom he still referred to as "the baby". He was a truly genuine guy who truly loved God and his fellow man. He will be sorely missed. Thank God, he knows and is with Jesus.

I'll see you later Dennis. Your sister in Christ, Denise.

Posted by: demn | June 29, 2009 12:05 PM

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