Russell J. Hawk
July 27, 1923 ~ April 15, 2014
Russell Hawk passed peacefully Tuesday, April 15, 2014 in Las Cruces, New Mexico with family by his side. He was 90 years old. Originally from Medford, Ore. Hawk had come to Las Cruces to stay with his son and daughter-in-law after a recent cancer recurrence.
Born to Norman and Inez Hawk in the front bedroom of the home built by his grandfather, Hawk graduated from Ashland High School in 1942. He played center for the University of Oregon Fighting Ducks football team that fall before joining the Marine Corps. He was part of the 5th Division and fought on Iwo Jima. Hawk was slated to be part of the invasion of Japan, but instead became part of the force that occupied Japan in 1945. He was honorably discharged in 1946.
Returning to college Hawk met his bride of 67 years, Donna Brewer, and started having a family while finishing his Bachelor's Degree in education. In 1950 Hawk was hired to teach and coach at Rogue River High School. Later he and his growing family would move to Winston, Ore. teaching at Douglas High School, while finishing his Masters of Education at the University of Oregon.
In 1959 Hawk again moved his now almost complete family to Fullerton, Calif. to be a member of the first staff at the newly opening Sunny Hills High School. He would teach and coach at Sunny Hills until his retirement in 1983. Hawk was the varsity basketball coach at Sunny Hills for 16 seasons compiling a 225-117 record. He would later become Athletic Director. Hawk was inducted into the California Interscholastic Federation (Southern Section) Coaches Hall of Fame in 1985.
After retiring Hawk found his way back to Oregon, eventually settling in his hometown of Medford where he played golf, hunted, and fished. However, the fall would always find him back at Autzen Stadium cheering on his beloved Ducks. Christmas and New Year's plans always had to be worked around whatever bowl game Oregon was appearing in. He was making plans for tickets for the upcoming football season when he died.
Hawk was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, infant Hawk and Ray Hawk; and one son, Bob. He is survived by his wife, Donna, of the home, two daughters,
Marolyn (Nick) Pierson of Tucson, Ariz. and Pat (Dave Heath) Hawk of Corona, Calif.; one son, Jim (JoBeth) Hawk of Las Cruces, N.M.; nine grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. He is also survived by two sisters-in-law, Phyllis Hawk of Eugene, Ore. and Ann Brewer of Medford, Ore. and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A remembrance will be held at a later date in Medford. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Bob Hawk Memorial Football Scholarship at the University of Oregon. Go Ducks!