Name: Nicholas Hawkins
Location: Hamburg, Pennsylvania
DOD: September 5, 2017
As a child, Nick was always full of life and was loved deeply, with so much promise and yet he still died from an overdose. Addiction does not discriminate. It can take the old, the young, the poor, the wealthiest, or the most successful. Opioid addiction often starts by a prescription.
For those that try drugs, please know, it only takes using heroin one time to get hooked. Heroin is a demon that affects the way your brain processes pleasure, taking over not just your brain, but your life, and destroys families.
Nick had a huge heart. He always had a great sense of humor and loved to make people laugh. Nick was also bright, sensitive, smart, kind, charming and handsome. During his childhood and through high school, he loved to play sports, especially football. He was always the one to pick people up, encourage his teammates, and thrived on comradery. As people describe him, “his smile was big and contagious.”
After high school, Nick joined the United States Marine Corps and became a squad leader and Corporal. He loved working with his hands and enjoyed wood-working. More than anything, Nick loved people. He would spark up conversations with strangers wherever he went. He especially loved and adored his nephew Aydin.
Nick’s opioid addiction was the toughest battle by far that he ever endured. He tried with all of his might to fight this disease that finally took his life. The day Nick died, we died right along with him. We will miss him every day for the rest of our lives. The pain of his death is heartbreaking and intolerable, which is why stories like Nick’s should not be ignored. The only way we can conquer the heroin epidemic is to share our stories, raise awareness, and end the stigmatism.
Nick, we can only pray that you have found the peace that you desperately searched for here on earth. We hope you are watching to see how many people loved you and know that you have touched so many lives.
Nick is survived by his loving parents, Julie (Werner) Strickler and William Strickler, Jeffrey and Lynn Hawkins; maternal grandparents, Larry and Jean Werner; paternal grandfather, Donald Hawkins; sister, Kala Hawkins; and nephew, Aydin Kramer; half-brother, Derek Hawkins; step-brother, Aaron Strickler and wife Cara; step-sister Rachel Strickler; step-brothers, Daniel McKnabb and Jon Ross, and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Memorial Services will be held Saturday, September 9, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. from Zion’s Church, 770 Zion Church Rd., Hamburg, PA 19526. Burial will be at the convenience of the family. A visitation will be held from 5:00 to 6:30 in the church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Nick
Hawkins memory to: Caron Treatment Centers, Attn: Development Office, PO Box 150, Wernersville, PA 19565 or online at https://www.caron.org/give-to-caron/donate-form. Please include Nick Hawkins name on your check. Leibensperger Funeral Homes, Inc., Hamburg is in charge of arranagements. For online condolences, please visit www.leibenspergerfuneralhome.com