Steve and Wendy Hawkins, South Dakota husband and wife die on the same day from two different types of cancer. Yankton couple leave behind three children.
Steve Hawkins, 58, and Wendy Hawkins, 52, died from different types of cancer in the same hospital in Yankton within 10 hours of each other on Friday, family members said.
Steve had been battling cancer for five years, while Wendy died after a shorter illness, according to a statement confirming the deaths from the Yankton County EMS, which Steve had overseen since 2009. It remains unclear what type of cancer each of them had.
The couple had three children, all in their 20s, who were devastated with the loss of both parents just two days before Christmas.
‘This has been a very tragic experience,’ son Trenton Hawkins wrote in a GoFundMe appeal to raise money for funeral expenses. ‘They were wonderful parents and took very good care of [their] family.’
‘the truest definition of soul mates.’
Steve’s sister Kathy Hawkins-LaFollette wrote in a Facebook post that Steve and Wendy were ‘the truest definition of soul mates.’
‘For their kids to lose them at such a young age. I can’t even imagine,’ she added.
Hawkins-LaFollette said that her brother and sister-in-law had different types of cancer, but did not offer further details.
She said the couple died within 10 hours of each other in the same hospital, which an obituary identified as Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton.
Prior to taking the top position in Yankton as EMS administrator, Steve worked as a paramedic in Cody, Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park.
He began his paramedic career in San Diego, according to the Yankton County EMS.
‘Wendy was a devoted wife and mother who stayed at home to raise their three children, Brad, Mandi and Trent,’ the service said in a Facebook post.
Mandi and her fiancé live together in Iowa, while Brad and Trenton live at home in Yankton, the post said.
A joint memorial service for Steve and Wendy will be held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Yankton in the spring of 2023. A specific date has yet to be set.