WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | News, Weather & Sports

Healing Habitat Build: Remembering Brent Hawkins

October 20, 2013

Two years after a tragic death, Fluvanna County Habitat for Humanity is helping a family give back after one of its own was taken away.

Fluvanna County resident Brent Hawkins died in a car accident in July of 2011.

"It has been a really tough two years for us as a family. It was such a sudden, shocking death," said Brent's wife, Bernadette Hawkins.

While those close to him sought ways to cope, they also looked for ways to give back.

"Habitat was my son's favorite charity," said Richard Hawkins. "He started going on mission projects with church when he was 13, 14, 15 years old, and anything that he could do to help someone out, that was his passion."

Brent's minister suggested a memorial build to celebrate the 29-year-old father, son, husband and friend's life.

"We just thought it was a great idea. It would be a way that we could carry on his memory, we could honor him," said Richard Hawkins.

"The Brent Build" became a way to turn his death into a new beginning for someone else. Family, friends, co-workers and church members helped construct a house in Habitat's Cedar Ridge subdivision.

"We just feel like this whole process was very healing for us in our grief journey," said Bernadette Hawkins.

Habitat for Humanity selected Fluvanna County resident Gail Washington Bruce to move into the home.

"Their tragedy is my blessing," said Bruce. "And to me, I hope I can bring them closure because I know my house was built with love."

Bruce and Brent's family met for the first time at Sunday's home dedication.

"She's thanked us, but I really feel like we should thank her because this has meant the world to all of us, to all of his family," said Bernadette Hawkins.

"I think it gives them some sense of closure that, out of this tragedy, something really tangible and good has come out of it," said Jenni Whitehead, executive director of Fluvanna County Habitat for Humanity.

This was Fluvanna County Habitat for Humanity's 15th home dedication.

Bruce will have to wait a little longer than anticipated to get the keys to the home, however. The government shutdown delayed the paperwork process.

The comments sections of Newsplex.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we only ask that you use your best judgment. E-mail is required, but will not be displayed with comment.

  • Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. We will not post comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.
  • We will not post comments that use hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our website.
  • Comments should not attack other readers or people featured in our stories personally. Any accusations should be backed up with facts.
  • Any comment we post will be posted in its entirety. We do not edit any comment that we post.
  • Comments should contribute to the discussion. We will not post comments that don't advance the discussion. Flaming and/or trolling will not be tolerated.
  • Comments should not attack other posters. Let's keep the focus on the content of the story.

    As a host Newsplex.com welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However this is a site that we host. We have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason The Newsplex reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.

    If you have any ideas to improve the conversation or this section let us know. Send an e-mail to webmaster@newsplex.com.


powered by Disqus
The Charlottesville Newsplex 999 2nd Street S.E. Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.242.1919 – Main 434.220.7522 - Newsroom
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 228567941