Lionel was born August 23, 1944, in Cherokee County, South Carolina to Jack Dawkins and Quincy Wilkins Dawkins.
Lionel loved to sing. He became active in church as a Sunday School Student and was disciple by his Godmother, Ms. Ida Allen Norris. He graduated from Granard High School in 1962 and immediately enlisted into the United States Navy. Lionel graduated from the Defense Language Institute and sailed with the research ships, “Liberty” and “The Nuclear Aircraft Carrier Enterprise CVAN 65. Lionel was honorably discharged in August of 1965.
He was married to the late Carolyn Jacobs Dawkins in 1969 and they bore 2 sons, Warren Thomas Dawkins (Nickie) and Theo Jamal Dawkins (Latefa)
Lionel joined Limestone Baptist Church as a teenager. He was saved on September 23, 1972, after hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ preached by Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart. Lionel began ministry in 1988 and served until his transition. He has served with The Thickety Mountain Baptist Association, The White Plains Baptist Church, and Holy Trinity New Beginnings Church, all of Gaffney.
His former employers include: The Western Electrical Company, The Englehart Industry, and The Miles Shoe Company all of New Jersey. The WT Grant Company, The South Carolina Employment Security Commission, Gaffney Broadcasting Company, and Spartanburg Housing Authority, all of South Carolina He retired in 2006.
Lionel was affiliated with and served on numerous boards, among them: The South Carolina State Employees Association, SCSchool for the Deaf and Blind, Piedmont Community Actions, The United Way of Spartanburg, The Neighborhood Association, The Ambassadors of the Bahamas, Harambee Club International, The Boy Scouts USA,
Lionel transitioned, through death to life eternal, on January 8, 2023 in Cherokee Medical Center, Gaffney, SC. He was predeceased by his parents, his wife of 51 years, and three brothers, Jack Leon Dawkins, Henry Donald Dawkins and Thomas Edward “TD” Dawkins; two sisters, Edna Yvonne “Tutter” Dawkins McCluney and Sadie Darlene Dawkins Littlejohn.
Lionel was dearly loved by his family. He leaves to cherish loving memories: two sons, Warren (Nickie) of Maryland, and Theo (Latefa), of Rock Hill, SC; Lionel was “PAPA” to 5 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. Kimoni Dawkins and Kiera Dawkins of Maryland; Isaiah, Joshua, and Indea Dawkins of the United States Military; a nephew raised as a son, Anthony “Tony” Jacobs; 2 Godsons, Ken Gregory and Anthony Spurgeon; goddaughter, KieshaBlair; three sisters, Virginia Dawkins Hunt, of the home, Nancy Dawkins, of Cowpens, Deborah Dawkins Israel, of Israel; brothers, Bernard Dawkins (Lib), of Spartanburg and Milton Dawkins (Faye),of Gaffney; other relatives and many friends.
A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, January 14, 2023, 1:00 p.m., in The Gilmore Mortuary Chapel, Gaffney, SC, with The Rev. James Patton officiating.