Richard Hawkins was born 25 May, 1925 in Chicago, Illinois. He always enjoyed sports and took up boxing at a young age. He joined the Army Air Corps in 1943, and served as a machine gunner during World War II; towards the end of the war he assisted in the liberation of concentration camps. He met Doris Letourneau, who was a sergeant in the Army, while he was a corporal, in Germany, marrying in Erding, Germany 4 months later.
Hawkins was honorably discharged from the Army in 1946 and jumped at the chance to join the Air Force shortly thereafter. Richard was stationed throughout the world during his tenure in the Air Force: from Patrick AFB in Florida, to Itami and Kadina AFB in Japan. He was stationed in Phan Rang for a year during the Vietnam War. He and his family moved to Colorado in 1975 upon his retirement.
He was always very athletic and won 4 USAF Golden Glove boxing Championships under the fighting name "the Irish Kid". He was inducted into the Colorado Umpires Hall of Fame. He completed his Bachelor of Arts Degree at Metropolitan State College in 1981.
Richard's family has donated his American Campaign Medal from World War II, Korean Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and a pair of Air Force cufflinks for inclusion in the metal that was cast into The Honor Bell.