Mr. Hawkins David Strickland passed away Thursday, May 7, 2020 at his home in Bennettsville, at the age of 95.
Born in Mullins, South Carolina on March 23, 1925. Hawkins was a son of the late Joel Calvin and Daisy Susanna Shelley Strickland. He was a member and deacon of Thomas Memorial Baptist Church.
“Mr. Hawkins”, as he was affectionately known by many, was the owner and operator of Bennettsville Department Store for over 47 years, alongside his beloved and devoted wife, Christine. They opened Bennettsville Department Store in February 1955 and devoted much of their lives to the store and their customers before retiring in May 2002. Long before Wal-Mart had made its way into Marlboro County, Bennettsville Department Store was serving this community, offering a vast variety of goods and services. Mr. Hawkins’ motto was always “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.” While owning and operating the department store, he and his family grew close to their customers and employees, developing friendships and sharing memories that lasted a lifetime. His customers were like extended family, and he groomed his employees to be productive, efficient, and successful at their tasks. He taught many teens a work ethic that carried through to their adult lives. His customers and employees loved him. To this day, his family is approached by many asking, “How is Mr. Hawkins doing?”
After his retirement, he focused his attention on another passion, gardening. He always loved gardening, but after retirement he turned ¾ of his back yard into a huge, thriving garden. Planting 100 tomato plants or what felt like 1000 collard plants, was all in a day’s work for him. His tomatoes were the best around and he loved sharing his vegetables with others. Outside of growing season, he loved to “pick-out” pecans. He was always busy and never liked to sit around and watch TV. If he wasn’t working, he was “resting his eyes,” as he called it. He was also an avid horse lover and won numerous awards.
Mr. Hawkins served in the United States Army during World war II in the Pacific Theatre.
He left a great mark on his family and community and will be deeply missed.
Mr. Hawkins was preceded in death by his parents, listed above; brothers, Joel Calvin Strickland, Jr., and Frank Bishop Strickland; sisters, Virginia Harrelson, Irene Martin, Anna Margaret Webster, and Deloris Waugh.
He leaves behind to cherish his memory, his wife Christine; daughters, Judy Strickland Long (Watt ) of Pinehurst, NC, Bonnie Stillwell (Roy) of McColl, SC, Connie Anderson (Edward) of Bennettsville, SC; grandchildren, Doc Stillwell (Whitney) of McColl ,SC, Alexa Stillwell of Columbia, SC, Andy Anderson (Whitney) of Florence, SC, Scott Anderson of Bennettsville, SC; great-grandchildren, Colt and Paisley Stillwell, Hawkins and Miller Anderson; and many other beloved family members and friends.
A graveside funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, May 9, 2020 at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Bennettsville, officiated by Rev. Dr. George Smith.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Thomas Memorial Baptist Church, 308 W. Main Street, Bennettsville, South Carolina 29512.
Online condolences may be made at www.bfhbennettsville.com.
Burroughs Funeral Home is honored to serve the Strickland family.
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