By Ms. Alexandra Shea (IMCOM)July 3, 2019
Fort Jackson's Main Post Chapel was filled to standing room only June 28 as Soldiers, civilians and contract employees from across Fort Jackson silently paid their respects and remember one of their own -- Angela Nicole Hawkins.
"Nicole was an amazing person," said Douglas Morrow, supervisor and fellow wildlife biologist. "She touched many lives both personally and professionally."
Hawkins, who passed away May 22, was a well-known wildlife biologist respected across the Southeast for her conservation work and efforts. Those closest to her called her Nicole, friend, sister, daughter or mom. For others she was known as the "woodpecker lady," widely known across the installation for her dedication to help save the rare Red-Cockaded Woodpecker population on Fort Jackson.
"She was the person I leaned on the most besides my wife," said Thomas Clawson, co-worker and friend. "I will miss her."
Close friends and colleagues of Hawkins took a few minutes during the memorial to speak about Hawkins's character and shared some of their fondest memories of her. It was a chance to remember their friend and celebrate the life she lived.
"A lot of the time (we spent together), we were joking," Clawson said. "Be it a 'Space Pants' music video from Saturday Night Live, or just different jokes. We would also play the 'hot butt challenge' where you turn the heaters on your seats on and see who could last the longest."
Scripture passages in line with Hawkins's religion were read aloud and a custom musical piece was performed by another friend, Tameria Warren. Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Rodie Lamb delivered a message of healing and hope, hope to triumph over tragedy.
"Her greatest joys were her sons," said Alyza Sager, close friend. "They completed her in a way nothing else in this world could. Being your mother was her greatest joy."
Hawkins was a mother of three boys Christopher Bryant, James and Andrew Hawkins. The three were in attendance to hear the memories shared by her friends. Hawkins is also survived by her father, Larry Chadwick, mother, Elizabeth Bridgeman, sister, Kristie Chadwick and brother, Jason Chadwick.
As the memorial came to a close, Sager tearfully asked those in attendance to memorialize her friend through personal action.
She said, "work passionately to preserve and protect the natural world that she loved. Be a strong advocate for those people, places and creatures that can't advocate for themselves. Don't be afraid to put your foot in your mouth if you believe in what you're saying. Love fiercely and unconditionally. Make sure those that you love and respect know that they are valued, that they are important to you and always pack a little sarcasm with you just in case."