Cover photo for H.P. Hawkins's Obituary
H.P. Hawkins Profile Photo
1937 H.P. 2023

H.P. Hawkins

July 24, 1937 — February 14, 2023

Abilene lost a native son this week. H.P. Hawkins called Abilene home since 1937.  Although work and family occasionally took him away, his love for the “Key City” always drew him back.

H.P. was born to Harl and Clara Hawkins.  Harl and Clara raised H.P. and his sister Doris in a small house on Grand Street.  H.P. attended Alta Vista elementary, but it was at Central Jr. High where he and a small group of young men would form friendships that would last a lifetime and athletic teams that would accomplish things not seen before in Abilene.  H.P. was a natural leader.  His honesty, integrity, and work ethic would draw the best out of those around him.  Those three character traits would serve him well throughout his life.  He hated to lose.  If you beat him today, you better be ready to go again tomorrow, because he would come back every day until he won.  He loved to compete.

As he entered Abilene High, he and his classmates had experienced success in both baseball and football, but it wasn’t until they fell under the instruction of Coach Chuck Moser that they reached their full potential.  Other than his father, Coach Moser may have been the most influential mentor in H.P.’s life.  Under the instruction of Coach Moser, those young men would go undefeated for forty-nine consecutive games.  In the process they would win three consecutive state football championships in 1954, 1955, and 1956.  H.P. would lead the “War Eagles” as quarterback in 1954 and 1955.  In 1999 the Dallas Morning News named the 1954-1957 Abilene Eagles as “The Team of the Century”.

After graduating from Abilene High in 1955, H.P. received a football scholarship to Southern Methodist University.  He played his freshman year at SMU, but the “Key City” was calling him home.  His sophomore year he returned to Abilene and enrolled at Abilene Christian College where he played the last three years of football and received a Bachelor of Science degree.  H.P. had several options after graduating from ACC.  He had two offers to play professional football, and one to play professional baseball, but he had to follow his heart, and his heart was in coaching.  He coached football and baseball at Abilene Cooper and Odessa High.

In 1968 the time demands of coaching with a growing family facilitated a career change.  H.P. began a new career in Real Estate Appraisal with Compere & Compere.  It was no surprise that he applied the same work ethic he had employed in all of is athletic endeavors to his new career.  He quickly rose to the highest level of the Real Estate Appraisal field and became one of only six Realtors in Abilene to achieve an M.A.I. designation from the Appraisal Institute.  He went on to become a partner in Compere, Elliot, and Hawkins. It was while working with Ed Compere that Ed and H.P. were commissioned by the U.S. government to assist in formalizing the boundaries between the United States and Mexico along the Texas border.  After a few years he opened his own firm, H.P. Hawkins and Associates.  During this time H.P. was invited to be one of only a hand full of real Estate Appraisers from the U.S. to assist the Russian government in developing a process to value private property during their transition from Communism to Capitalism.  Although occupied with many large projects, true to his heart as a coach, he remained active with the Appraisal Institute teaching courses and mentoring young appraisers around the country.

In 1994, with all of his children grown, the itch to coach again was too strong to resist.  He disbanded H.P. Hawkins and Associates and returned to the football field.  In his second coaching career he coached at West Texas A&M University, Abilene High School, and Hereford High School.  Not one to retire, after his second coaching career, he returned home to Abilene and again appraised real estate through 2022.  A life of influence, no doubt.  Countless young people were shaped in some part, great or small, by his instruction in the classroom or on the field.  As Coach Moser taught him, coaching is teaching, and teachers invest in their students.  H.P. was always available for advice, as long as you brought along a strawberry milkshake.

Many would look at the accolades and accomplishments he received as a point of pride, but to H.P. it was the relationships built throughout his life that brought him the most satisfaction.  Three of those relationships were invaluable in H. P.’s waning days. Rob Cunningham, Gene Six, and Mitch Ables were ever present with encouragement, prayers, love and care. We, as his family, will be eternally grateful.

H. P. had particular admiration for the T2T (Tunnel to Towers) organization; Hendrick Hospice of Abilene; Ben Richey Boys Ranch and West Texas Rehabilitation Center.  His preference would be support of their causes in lieu of any floral remembrances.

Tunnels to Towers –

Hendrick Hospice of Abilene –

Ben Richey Boys Ranch –

West Texas Rehabilitation Center –

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of H.P. Hawkins, please visit our flower store.


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