Nedra J. Hawkins, 85, North Manchester, died at 5:42 p.m., Tuesday, May 20, at her Timbercrest home. She was born Nov. 28, 1928 in Converse, to Benjamin F. and Nilah May (Adams) Hodson. She graduated as class salutatorian from Converse High School in 1946.
Nedra married Glenn Arden Hawkins in Fort Wayne, on March 8, 1947. A gifted cook, baker, seamstress, quilter, knitter, homeopath, and gardener, she created a warm and welcoming home and cared for many foster children. She owned and managed several businesses, including a rabbit farm, a Neo-Life nutritional products venture, and a professional reflexology practice. Her creative endeavors included music and writing. She enjoyed singing and playing the piano; she composed two cantatas and authored a two-volume memoir. Along with her husband, she was a member of the Old Fort Model A Club and the Manchester Symphony Society.
Nedra served as secretary of Faith Lutheran Church, Okemos, Mich. and belonged to several church congregations throughout her life, including Lord of Life (now Risen Savior) Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, and Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, North Manchester. An active member, she led Bible studies, taught Sunday school classes, directed choirs, preached homilies, and served on committees.
Nedra was preceded in death by her husband on April 1, 2008. She is survived by one daughter, Julie (Neil DeWitt) Hawkins Meyer, Eagle River, Ala.; one son, Rev. Jeffrey (Kathryn) Hawkins, North Manchester; one brother, J.R. Hodson, Kokomo; five grandchildren, Tami (Jeff) Schlies, Chugiak, Ala., Tanya (Todd) Wimer, Fairbanks, Ala., William Jeffrey “BJ” (Karen) Meyer, Willow, Ala., Zachary (Kira) Hawkins, North Manchester, and Sarah (David) Moan, Detroit, Mich.; and nine great-grandchildren. One brother and five sisters preceded her in death.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, May 29 at 2 p.m. at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, 113 W. Main Street, North Manchester, with Pastor Gene Kinney officiating. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery, Servia. Friends may call Wednesday, May 28 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Timbercrest Chapel, 2201 N. East Street, North Manchester; and 3-7 p.m. at Grandstaff-Hentgen Bender Chapel, 207 W. Main Street, North Manchester, and one hour prior to the service at the church.
Memorial contributions may be made to Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, 113 W. Main Street, North Manchester, Indiana, and HOPE CSA, Inc., 10373 N 300 E, North Manchester, Indiana.
The memorial guest book for Nedra can be signed online at www.grandstaff-hentgen.com.