William Neal Hawkes (Bill), 80, passed away Wednesday, September 26, 2018, in his home surrounded by family.
Bill was born Nov. 21, 1937 in Salt Lake City, UT to Jean West Hawkes and Lottie McMillian Hawkes. In the 4th grade, his family moved to Pocatello, ID where he developed a love for playing and watching sports. He played football, basketball, and baseball. While in the 8th grade he decided he needed a job, and he applied to become the bat boy for the minor league baseball team. Bill won the job based on a vote of the fans and the team went on to win the pennant that season.
While attending and later graduating from Pocatello High School, Bill began his long career in the car business. He started by working in the parts department and then became a salesman, something he loved for the rest of his life. His true love, however, was discovered at the Arctic Circle Drive-In, when he first met Nancy Ellen Burton. The first time he saw her he said, “I am going to marry that girl.” And he did. On April 10, 1959, Bill and Nancy were married. They were later sealed in the Provo Utah Temple and were looking forward to celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary next spring.
In 1969 Bill and his family moved to Boise where he became a prominent member of the valley’s business community. He opened his first used car dealership in Boise and over the next four decades became known as “Honest Bill” by customers and fellow dealers. “Bill’s House of Hardtops” later became “Hawkes Motors” and he worked for many years in the business with his son Ryan. In 1993 Bill received the “Quality Used Car Dealer of the Year” award, which is based on honesty and integrity.
His love for sports and entrepreneurship led him to open a second business in 1986 when he became one of the first Pro Image Sports Franchisees in the country, opening a store in the Karcher Mall in Nampa and Westgate Mall in Boise (which his son Ryan managed) before becoming an original tenant of Boise Towne Square Mall at its opening in 1988. Bill was named the National Franchisee of the Year for Pro Image multiple times, though he was perhaps best known for sponsoring an endless list of youth and high school sports teams and dance teams. His son Travis began working in the store at age 11, and they later became partners in the business and expanded to multiple locations in Idaho and Utah.
As a self-made business success, Bill employed literally thousands of people over five decades, teaching them not just about the job but about being successful in life.
Above all else, Bill loved spending time with his family and supporting them in their many activities. With 4 children, 14 grandchildren, and 20 great grandchildren, he set an example and legacy for his family that will be carried on for generations.
Bill was a life-long member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He served in many volunteer church service roles including the Bishopric, High Council, and as a church service missionary with his wife at the Boise LDS Employment Center.
He was known by many for his tremendous generosity and service, though he most enjoyed giving and helping anonymously. His favorite organizations included Special Olympics, Toys for Tots, Make a Wish, Boise State, and the Boy Scouts of America. In 1999, he was a recipient of the “Good Scout Award,” which is given to an individual that epitomizes the values of scouting in their every-day lives.
Bill is survived by his wife of almost 60 years, Nancy; children Traci (Doug) Roberts, Stori (Marc) Jenson, Ryan Hawkes, and Travis (Abbee) Hawkes; 13 grandchildren, and 20 great- grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Jean Hawkes and Lottie McMillian; stepmother (known as Mom), Ellen Tippetts Hawkes; sister, Jerrie (Marvin) Seiler; sister JoAnne (Dale) Trumbo; sister, Geneal (Lynn) Taylor; and granddaughter Ann Marie Hawkes.
The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept 29,2018 at the LDS Chapel located at 6375 N. Royal Park Avenue in Boise with Bishop John Jackson conducting. A visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. on Saturday, prior to the service. Burial will be at Dry Creek Cemetery.