FOREST CITY - On Monday, January 11, 2021, Geoffrey Douglas Hawkins, loving husband and father of two children, passed away in Forest City, NC at the age of 72.
Geoff was born on February 25, 1948 in Harare, Zimbabwe (then Salisbury, Rhodesia) to Harold and Evelyn Jessie (Walker) Hawkins. He received an Economics degree from the University of Exeter in Devon, United Kingdom in 1969 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts in 1974. He had an illustrious and varied professional career working as a Senior Investment Officer for the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Washington, DC, New Delhi, India, and Dhaka, Bangladesh, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tonometrics, Inc. in Bethesda, MD, CEO of Rennie Grinaker Zimbabwe Ltd. in Harare, Zimbabwe, Executive Vice President of Psychiatric Institutes of America (PIA) in Washington, DC, Assistant to the Area Head for Europe, Middle East, and Africa for the First National Bank of Chicago in London, United Kingdom, and in the Economics Department of the South African Reserve Bank in Pretoria, South Africa. On May 1, 1976, he married Virginia Margaret Towsey in London, United Kingdom. They raised one son, Harold, and one daughter, Kirsten.
Geoff was a man driven by intellectual curiosity. He was a deep thinker that loved ideas and learning. Geoff was a voracious reader and researcher who loved studying history, economics, philosophy, and science - particularly astrophysics. He loved learning all that he could about the Universe, people, and the world around him.
During his life, Geoff traveled the world extensively. He lived on four continents and traveled to too many countries to count. He had a charming, magnetic personality and easily made friends. He loved to share ideas and experiences. He had many wonderful friends from many diverse backgrounds in every corner of the world. Many will remember Geoff most fondly for always being the life of the party. There would often come a time of the night when his friends would start begging him to tell some of his memorable jokes or stories, or better yet, to belt out songs in his booming baritone singing voice.
Geoff was a generous man. He loved sharing ideas, stories, and experiences. He was a loyal and dedicated husband and father. Not only did he provide well for his family, but he made a point of exposing them to the world, amazing experiences, and wonderful opportunities. We were all just tagging along for the adventure and enjoying every minute. He supported his children’s dreams and was proud of their accomplishments. Geoff also loved animals and had many pets that he would name after famous personalities such as Stanley Laurel and Oliver Hardy, Tina Turner, Freddie Mercury, Peekay (from ‘The Power of One’), and Oscar Wilde.
In his youth, Geoff was an excellent athlete. He excelled in track and field, rugby, cricket, and golf. In high school, he set the Rhodesian Under 19 national record for both discus and shot put. He passed on his passion for track and field to his daughter Kirsten. They spent hours in the garden in India working on her discus technique, making her the best discus thrower in her school despite her unintimidating stature. He never lost his love of sports and thanks to his incredible photographic memory, he was able to recite the medal winners for all modern Olympic Games.
Geoff was an excellent golfer. He played off scratch for much of his life and maintained a low single figure handicap well into his fifties. At various points in his life, he maintained memberships at Sunningdale Golf Club, Congressional Country Club, Royal Harare Golf Club, Bretton Woods Country Club, Delhi Golf Club, and Prestonwood Country Club. During his life, Geoff played many of the world’s greatest golf courses including many on the U.S. Open and (British) Open Championship rotas. He had a passion for links golf and particularly loved Muirfield, the Old Course at St. Andrews, Royal St. Georges, and Royal Dornoch. He taught his son Harold to play golf at an early age and they spent many wonderful times together on amazing golf courses all over the world.
Geoff lived a full life and will be dearly missed. Geoff was preceded in death by his father, Harold. He is survived by his wife Virginia, his two children, Harold and Kirsten, his two grandchildren, Atlas and Ruby, his mother Eve, and his sister Jo.
No Services are planned at this time but will be announced at a later date.
Arrangements entrusted to Robert Morgan Funeral and Cremation Service of Boiling Springs, NC.
Online condolences available.
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