Russell Weldon Hawkins Jr. of Laurel, Md. died Saturday, Sept. 3 in Baltimore, Md. with his family by his side after a long and courageous battle with heart disease. He was 48 and a beloved husband, son, brother, and father of three.

He was born on May 25, 1968 in Philadelphia, Pa. to Russell Weldon Hawkins Sr. and Gayle Ray Hawkins. His mother preceded him in death. He grew up in Morristown, N.J. and graduated from Morristown High School in 1986. Russell attended Howard University in Washington D.C. In his early twenties he worked as a professional model. He held various management positions in sales and marketing and owned a credit repair company.

Russell spent numerous memorable summers with his family and friends in Oak Bluffs, where his family has owned a summer home since 1985. Many family reunions were hosted there with his mother’s side of the family, the Rays. On the Island he enjoyed playing tennis, crabbing with his twin sister, sunbathing on the Inkwell, jumping off second bridge and fishing. As an adult Russell continued to spend time on the Island with his own family, introducing his children to summertime traditions on the Vineyard.

He is survived by his wife, Stephanie; his three children, Russell Weldon Hawkins 3rd, Katheryn Marie Hawkins, and Earl Gregory Hawkins; his father Russell Weldon Hawkins Sr. and his wife Virginia; and his sister Allyson Hawkins Ward and his twin sister Cynthia Hawkins Davis.

A celebration of life will take place at the Bridgeway Church, 9189 Red Branch Road in Columbia, Md. on Friday, Sept. 23 at 11 a.m.