Obituary: Alexis “Lex” Hawkins |

Obituary: Alexis “Lex” Hawkins

Alexis "Lex" Hawkins
Alexis "Lex" Hawkins
Provided Photo

December 17, 1925 – April 21, 2023

Lex Hawkins, one of the founding fathers of the Iowa Trial Bar passed away peacefully at his residence in Dallas, Texas Friday, April 21, 2023.
He was 97.
Lex was noted for his litigation of challenging and highly complex claims. He handled medical malpractice cases at a time most other lawyers in Iowa would not consider taking such cases; claims involving theft of commercial ideas by Winnebago, a major Iowa-based manufacturer; antitrust claims against the beef packing industry and litigation on behalf of the State of Iowa against the asphalt paving industry and the tobacco companies.
Lex was born in Red Oak, Iowa, on December 17, 1925. In 1938 Lex’s mother, Helena Hawkins, moved he and his sister Frances to Des Moines.
During World War II, Lex was a Navy Corpsman assigned to provide medical care and treatment for the United States Marines. He was with the second wave of Marines who went ashore during the Battle of Okinawa. He was very proud of his service with the Marines. Semper Fi!
After World War II, Lex returned to Des Moines and attended Drake University. He was an accomplished drummer, and he paid his way through law school as a drummer with various bands in the Des Moines area.
In 1949 Lex married Rosemary Kathryn Carney “Mitzie”. She was a school teacher and the primary bread winner while Lex was starting out in the practice of law. Lex and Mitzie had one son, Scott who married Peggy Kinn in 2000. Scott and Peggy had a daughter Alexis who was born in 2004 much to the delight of Lex and Mitzie. Lex was extremely proud of his only granddaughter Alexis who was named after him. Alexis is attending The Juilliard School in New York with plans to become a professional dancer and choreographer.
Lex was a Renaissance Man with numerous interests and avocations. He was a pilot who owned two different airplanes that he flew to all 99 counties in Iowa during his political campaigns. He collected classic and antique cars including two Rolls Royces that won national championships at the annual Rolls Royce Owners Club meet. As with all of the things that he did in his life, Lex observed this motto, “If you want to be the best, train with the best.”
Lex trained with Olympic ski champions Phil and Steve Mahre who provided him with instruction on ski racing which he relished. He became an excellent slalom ski racer and won multiple gold and silver metals Nastar racing in Colorado. Lex had collections of fine art, including mosaics he acquired from the Vatican, wildlife art, Southwestern art and bronze statues. Lex shot a trophy-sized Polar Bear in Alaska and acquired numerous artifacts while on African Safari. He was an avid golfer spending many afternoons on the practice tee at Wakonda Club. Lex and son Scott attended the Porsche Driving School in Birmingham, Alabama where he set the track record for his age group at 89 years young. Lex set speed records for his age group at numerous racetracks around the country. He continued auto racing until age 92. He studied meditation with Deepak Chopra. Lex became close friends with Deepak and later became a meditation instructor. He had a flair for real estate. He designed and saw to completion the construction and renovation of various real estate projects in Iowa, Texas and Colorado, including the former Rollins Mansion on Fleur Drive in Des Moines, where his law offices were maintained.
In the early 1960s Lex and Mitzie were on the first plane that was hijacked to Cuba. Lex used his skills as a negotiator to help reduce tensions and allow the plane and passengers to return safely to the United States.

Lex is well remembered for service as State Chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party from 1960-1966. Throughout his life Lex’s political advice and counsel was sought by many politicians, including those seeking the Democratic nomination for President.
Lex was the co-founder of the Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers in 1962 and The Association of Trial Lawyers of Iowa (now, Iowa Association for Justice). Lex was a member of the board of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers for 10 years. He was the author of the Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers Trial Handbook which is still highly respected today.
Lex is survived by his son, Scott and his wife, Peggy, his granddaughter, Alexis N. Hawkins and his sister, Frances Anderson. His Celebration of Life will be held in Dallas, Texas at St. Rita Catholic Church on May 27, 2023 at 1pm.

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