Earl Rich Hawkes, age 74, passed away peacefully on Nov. 9, 2019, in St George, Utah, surrounded by family. Doctors diagnosed liver cancer less than a week before his passing. Rich was walking, driving and caring for his dear wife up to that point.
Rich was born in Dayton, Ohio on Nov. 10, 1944, the only child of Earl and Editha Hawkes and grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Rich and his parents relocated to Salt Lake City, Utah, where his father worked as publisher of the Deseret News. He served a full-time mission in Australia for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where he learned to crack a whip. He graduated from Brigham Young University and honed his showmanship as a radio DJ there. His booming bass voice joined the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Rich had many interests including history, movies, books, music, geology and the outdoors. He loved animals and had many furry, feathered and scaled friends throughout his life who adored him.
Rich pursued a career in service as a District Executive for the Boy Scouts of America in the Great Salt Lake Council. He became beloved for his work as Camp Director at Steiner in the high Uintahs and Cub Country in Millcreek Canyon. Scouts and staff members alike remember Rich fondly as “Indy,” “Zorro” and “Crocodile Hawkes,” and had fun learning to fence and crack whips. When Rich loved something, his enthusiasm was contagious! Rather than lecture about history, he showed scouts how actual armor and weapons were used historically in battle. Instead of talking about movies, he invited his staff and their families over to watch his favorites. He preferred to demonstrate the values of scouting by being first down the zip line or to rappel off cliffs.
On April 6, 1994, Rich married De Ann Papworth, the “love of his life.” They were sealed for eternity in the St. George Utah Temple on Nov. 24, 2018. His last and only wish was to be with De Ann.
Rich is preceded in death by his father, Elden Earl Hawkes, mother, Editha Emeline Rich and son, Bradley Rich Hawkes. He is survived by his wife, De Ann; his children, Clarice (Chris) Goodwin, Elden (Tracy) Hawkes, Rich (Maranda) Hawkes, and Emily (Jimmy) Bokinskie; stepsons, Mark Emerson, Todd (Dianne) Emerson, and Ryan (ShawnaLee) Emerson; 12 grandchildren; 15 step-grandchildren; and one step great-grandchild.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, at 2 p.m. at Metcalf Mortuary, 288 W. St. George Blvd., St. George, Utah. A visitation will be held Saturday, prior to services, from 1-1:45 p.m. Interment will be in the Afton Wyoming Cemetery.
Arrangements entrusted to the care of Metcalf Mortuary, 435-673-4221. Please visit our website at metcalfmortuary.com for condolences, complete obituary and funeral listings.