Ashes to ocean: Brothers honor Fishing memories with Dad

Tina Harbuck
Ben Hawkins, left, and his brother Matt Hawkins pulled in a nice catch aboard the Full Draw. The two also spread the ashes of their father, Johnnie, while out doing what they all used to enjoy doing as a family — fishing on the Gulf of Mexico.

The Hawkins brothers dropped a line and fulfilled their father’s final wishes while fishing aboard the Full Draw Wednesday with Capt. Justin Destin.

In memory of their father, Johnnie, who died last December, Matt and Ben Hawkins spread some of their dad’s ashes in the Gulf of Mexico while fishing aboard one his favorite fishing boats.

"We've been fishing with Justin for the past three years," Matt said.

"It something we did as a family every year," Ben added.

When their father died Dec. 7 of a heart attack, he was cremated.

"He said he would haunt us if we put him in the ground," Matt said.

So when the brothers decided to keep the annual fishing trip to Destin, they thought it would be a good idea to spread some of his ashes in the Gulf.

Capt. Destin said they spread the ashes about six miles out. "It was kind of cool," he said.

Prior to spreading the ashes the brothers had a good day of fishing. They pulled in a nice catch of mingo, white snapper and a triggerfish.

The brothers from Tennessee and Alabama plan to spread the rest of their father’s ashes at the Grand Canyon.