Robert Jeffrey Hawkins

SOUTH PORTLAND – Robert Jeffrey Hawkins, 52, of South Portland, passed away Monday evening, June 7, 2021.

Robert, known publicly as “Jeff” and affectionately by friends as “Hawk”, was born in Wiesbaden, Germany on Jan. 15, 1969 to parents Douglas Warren Hawkins and M. Joan Hawkins. During Jeff’s childhood years, the Hawkins family returned to the United States and settled in Parsonsfield where he attended Sacopee Valley High School, graduating in 1987.

After graduation, Jeff quickly enlisted in the Marine Corps, being the fifth member of his family to serve our Country, following in his father’s and brother’s footsteps. He served honorably from 1988 to 1996, in A Company Battalion 25th Marines. During his eight years as a Marine, he received the Southwest Asia Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Combat Action Ribbon and the Good Conduct Medal. He was a member of the Marine Corps League and the VFW.

In 1996, Jeff started his 23-year career in law enforcement as a reserve officer with the Old Orchard Beach Police Department. He served with distinction and honor at the Portland Police Department for 18 years, retiring in 2018. During his career, Jeff volunteered for several additional responsibilities including the Special Reactions Team, Honor Guard and Senior Lead Officer. Jeff was known throughout the profession and beyond as a person of exemplary character, compassion, courage, and commitment. These traits, among many others, earned him the 2017 Maine Association of Police’s Cops Cop Award. It was a selection that needed little consideration. Jeff made an immeasurable impact not only as a street cop, but as a brother who could be counted upon to lend a hand or an ear to a fellow officer who was in need or struggling.

Jeff was proud of his Viking heritage. He actively represented the best qualities of Viking Warrior and Guardian. He did this by always taking the time to check in with peers and friends during tough times and good times; he was a mentor to many younger officers and their families; he worked hard to provide the highest level of service to the community of Portland and for fellow Veterans. He was a passionate patriot who read and studied world history and had profound compassion for people all over the world who were affected by war. He very much enjoyed the peacefulness he felt while he spent time reading and relaxing with his best friends at the cabin in the middle of the woods in Livermore.

In the summer of 2016, Jeff met the love of his life, Erin Washburn at Fore River Brewery in South Portland. On Labor Day 2018, with a Viking axe in hand, he rode with his future wife on his Harley Davidson motorcycle and were married at the brewery in intimate ceremony by their close friend, Phaedra Bond, and her dog Balto, who served as their ring bearer. In their five years together, Jeff and Erin enjoyed many things, including motorcycling, gardening, trivia, concerts, reading, traveling, cats, and spending time with their closest friends, often gathering around the fire pit in their back yard.

Jeff’s circle of friends extended to nearly all walks of life. His sympathetic nature, high value on the principles of fairness and justice, his personality, reliability, and steadfast determination to pursue any mission he faced with tenacity made him a natural leader. As any good warrior does, he cared deeply about the people in his community and he was someone to whom people were immediately drawn.

Many of us will miss his sense of humor and quirky stories and sayings, such as “ZIIINNNGGGGGG”, brain grenades, “Lawn Nazi” chronicles, and his infamous noogies and “Buddy Checks”.

He is survived by his loving wife, Erin Hawkins; his mother, M. Joan Hawkins; his brothers Stephen Hawkins, wife Kristina and their children Emily and Sophia; and Gregory, wife Bernadette and their children Aiden and Colin; his Marine Corps Brother and close friend, who he met while deployed, Robert J. Harmatys, wife Rebecca and their daughters, Alexa and Grace, his goddaughter; his mother-in-law, Laura Washburn Seitz and husband Stephen; brothers-in-law Trent M. Washburn, wife Tracey and their sons Carter and Miles; and Christopher L. Washburn, wife Liana and their daughters, Willa and Ava. Jeff also leaves behind hundreds of friends, including his brothers and sisters of the U.S. Marine Corps and Maine Law Enforcement.

He was predeceased by his father, Col. Douglas Warren Hawkins in 2016.

Visitation will be held 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 16 at Hobbs Funeral Home, 230 Cottage Rd., South Portland. A funeral service with law enforcement honors by the Portland Police Department will be held 10 a.m., Friday, Sept. 17 at the funeral home. A private burial will be held at Southern Maine Memorial Veterans Cemetery, 83 Stanley Rd., Springvale, with full military honors and a 21-gun salute. A special gathering to honor Jeff’s life will be held 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sept. 19 at Fore River Brewing Company, 35 Park St.,  South Portland.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-for-erin-hawkins to help support his beloved Erin in her tough journey ahead or to https://k9sonthefrontline.org/ which supports Veterans and their service dogs.

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