Former Plandome resident Harman Hawkins (83) of Shelter Island Heights died at home on Dec. 17, 2002 of complications following open-heart surgery. Hawkins, who was retired as partner of the Wall Street law firm of DeForest and Duer and past commodore of the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, had been active in village and school affairs during the 32 years he lived in Plandome. Mr. Hawkins was counsel to the Manhasset Public Schools for 18 years, member of the Plandome Village Board, Water Commissioner and President of the Plandome Association. He also spent time as a member of Plandome's volunteer fire department. When he and his wife Janet Gay Hawkins retired to their longtime summer headquarters, Shelter Island, they became integral parts of their new community. Hawkins, a member of the Shelter Island Yacht Club at which his cruising yacht Redhead had frequently anchored in the past, became heavily involved in club activities as a resident trustee.
His interest in libraries and education caused him to become a founding member of the Shelter Island Educational Foundation. Hawkins was a member of the Community Preservation Committee (popularly called "the Two Percent Committee") appointed by the town board to offer recommendations on land use and open space preservation. He also served on the board of the Friends of the Shelter Island Library. He has been an active participant in the affairs of the Mashomack Preserve, of which Mrs. Hawkins was recently named a trustee, and of the Shelter Island Historical Society. Hawkins also served as chairman of the board of the Gladys Brooks foundation, a national nonprofit, which focuses on libraries and medical institutions.
Hawkins first became acquainted with Greenport and Shelter Island during World War II, when he served as a member of the US Coast Guard's Picket Patrol, sailing yachts donated by private owners on silent patrol off shore waters.
Hawkins became interested in sailing as a youth, racing in Manhasset Bay and on the Sound. He picked up his racing and cruising career after the war was over and sailed in such prestigious off-shore events as the Newport to Bermuda Race. In later years he became active in the management and direction of yachting activities, frequently acting as a race judge, serving as commodore of the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, President of the US Sailing Association (formerly United States Yacht Racing Union), commodore of the Storm Trysail Club, board member of the International Yacht Racing union. He exercised his legal skills on part of the San Diego Yacht Club help to settle the America's Cup disputes of 1988.
He received the Herreshoff trophy for service to the sport of yachting. He was also made an Honorary Member of the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club for his contributions to yachting.
At the time of his death, Mr. Hawkins was a member of the Shelter Island Yacht Club, the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, the New York Yacht Club, the Cruising Club of America, the Storm Trysail Club and an honorary member of the Ft. Worth Boat Club.
Hawkins was a graduate of Manhasset Public Schools, Amherst College and Harvard Law School. He is survived by his wife Janet Gay Hawkins, also a Manhasset native, his sons Christopher (Susan) of Lancaster, New Hampshire, and Jonathan (Brenda) of Middletown, Rhode Island; grandchildren, Rebecca, Matthew, Jeremiah and Jackson, and brother Glen Hawkins of Redding, California.