John Hawkins, CEO of Hawkins, Inc., Dies at 59

Patrick Hawkins, current president of the company and nephew of John Hawkins, will assume the CEO role.

John R. Hawkins, who has served as CEO of Minneapolis-based Hawkins, Inc., for more than a decade, died at age 59 after battling liver cancer, the company announced Friday.

The company previously said that Hawkins was diagnosed with liver cancer and was receiving hospice care. Hawkins was employed at the company for 40 years.

“It is with deep sorrow we announce John's passing,” Chairman Jack McKeon said in a statement. “John was a well-respected leader at the company, but more than that, he was a dear friend and colleague to the extended Hawkins family.”

According to an obituary in the Star Tribune, Hawkins, of Wayzata, died on Wednesday at his home.

The company also announced that Patrick Hawkins, nephew of John, will succeed his uncle as CEO. Patrick was appointed president of Hawkins in February 2010. Patrick joined the company in 1992 and occupied a variety of roles during his tenure.

“While we wish the circumstances of his appointment could have been different, the company is fortunate to have someone with Patrick's skills and intimate knowledge of the business ready to assume the role of CEO,” McKeon said. “The board remains confident that despite John's untimely death, Patrick and the entire management team will do an excellent job of leading Hawkins forward.”

Hawkins, Inc., distributes, blends, and manufactures bulk and specialty chemicals for customers in a wide range of industries. It has 25 facilities in 13 states.

The company is among Minnesota's 65 largest public companies based on revenue, which totaled $257 million in its most recently completed fiscal year.