George William “Billy” Dawkins, Sr., 91, of Prosperity, died peacefully Monday, July 13, 2020 at Springfield Place in Newberry with family by his side .
Born on March 19, 1929 in Prosperity, Billy was the son of the late John Hilliary and Ethel Cook Dawkins. He was predeceased by his brothers: John Earl Dawkins, Travis Cook Dawkins, Harry Wendell Dawkins, Joseph Ray Dawkins and James Lee Dawkins.
Mr. Dawkins attended Prosperity High School and began working long hours managing Dawkins Mercantile as a young teenager after his father became disabled. He married the love of his life, Frances Louise McCrackin, who worked alongside him in their family grocery, general merchandise and plant business. It was particularly important for him to support local farmers and plant nurseries by purchasing the freshest produce and seasonal plants to offer his customers. He belonged to the SC Food Retailers Association and SC Municipal Association. He was a longtime member of Grace Lutheran Church, having served on Church Council, Finance Team, and Building & Grounds committees. Mr. Dawkins had been an active member of the Prosperity Town Council, having served five mayors for nearly three decades and appointed Mayor Pro Tem by Mayor Larry Spotts from 2006 to 2010. He was a Charter Member of Mid-Carolina Country Club and a member of Mid-Carolina Athletics Booster Club, Civitan Club and Big Thursday. He was loved and respected for his candid interaction with everyone. Mr. Dawkins was a huge sports fan of all competitions including golf, football, baseball, basketball, NASCAR, poker and billiards. Playing golf and traveling to the many tournaments and pulling for the USC Gamecocks was his favorite passion. It was not unusual for him to follow several games at once on both the television and radio, switching among channels to follow the action.
Mr. Dawkins had a big heart, loving his family most of all. His biggest joy was family gatherings and vacations spent together at the beach. Known for his amusing jokes, he often began telling a funny story that quickly made everyone laugh so hard, bringing all to tears, including himself, that he was unable to finish the punch line. He was extremely proud of his wife, Frances, his lifelong sweetheart. He and Frances could be found most afternoons sitting outside on their deck, admiring their freshly mowed lawn while holding hands and enjoying conversations with friends. He eagerly worked long and hard hours to provide Frances and his family a comfortable home. He taught his children the value of honest work and how to set goals for their future. He loved spoiling his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and following their many activities. Mr. Dawkins will always be remembered for the love and devotion to his wife, Frances; his unwavering guidance and encouragement to his children, and the kindness he expressed to everyone who knew him. His lovable and witty personality will be missed very much.
Mr. Dawkins was predeceased by his wife of 71 years, Frances McCrackin Dawkins. He is survived by his daughter: Deena (David) Bowers; sons: Thomas Kirby Dawkins, George William Dawkins, Jr. and John David (Susan) Dawkins; grandchildren: William Jacob (Heather) Bowers, Joshua David (Vicki) Bowers, Casey Deen Dawkins and Cydnee Cole Dawkins; great-grandchildren: Aynsly Chapman Bowers, Walker David Bowers and Bashtin John Yannuzzi; sisters-in-law: Allene Dawkins and Betty Dawkins; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Memorials are suggested to Grace Lutheran Church “Ministry Center”, PO Box 188, Prosperity, SC 29127, https://www.graceluth.org/ .
The family expresses their deepest appreciation to the dedicated and professional nurses, CNAs, all staff members, and Dr. Michael Bernardo and his team at Springfield Place Unit 4, for the abundance of care and love they compassionately provided to Mr. Dawkins and his family.
Plans for memorial service for George William Dawkins, Sr. are pending.
Honorary pallbearers will be all current and former: mayors of Town of Prosperity, members of Prosperity Town Council, employees of Town of Prosperity and Grace Lutheran Church Council.