Paul Lawrence Gatlin was born into time on December 5, 1959, to Sam Gatlin and Flozell Thomas in Gurdon, Arkansas. When Paul was six years old his mother married George “Pap” Hawthorne. Paul was the big brother of the “Hawthorne Clan.” “Pap” raised Paul and loved him as his own.
Paul grew up in a loving home filled with an abundance of laughter and love. Paul was taught the values and virtues of hard work.
Paul confessed his faith in Christ at a tender age and attended First Memorial COGIC. He attended Gurdon High School and later enlisted into the United States Army. He was a former employee of International Paper Company and Georgia Pacific. He was a current employee of Tyson Foods in Hope.
He married Ruby Bell and to this union three children were born. Paul possessed a quiet and friendly spirit. His greatest joy was spending time with his family and friends.
He was preceded in transition by his parents, Flozell Hawthorne (2005), George Hawthorne (2009) and Sam Gatlin; two grandchildren and one sister, Everlean Gatlin. On Sunday, November 24, 2013 in his 53rd season of life he began his eternal celebration in a land that shall never grow old.
He leaves to forever remember his legacy: his children, Antonio (Niko) Gatlin of Marshall, TX, Uthel “Poppy” (Skyye) Gatlin of Marshall, TX, and Whitney Gatlin of Gurdon, AR; eight grandchildren; their mother, Ruby Bell Gatlin of Gurdon, AR; his brothers Ricky (Gail) Williams, George (Carolyn) Hawthorne, Jr., Stacy (Melissa) Hawthorne, Tracy (Barbara) Hawthorne, Gavin (Kathy) Hawthorne, Charles Gatlin, Sammie Lee Gatlin, Donald Gatlin, Lester Gatlin, Dennis Gatlin, Burt Gatlin, Toot Gatlin, and Dannay Henagan; his sisters, Beverly Glenn, Teny Beaty, Patsy Gatlin, Benita Henagan, Latisha Henagan, April Henagan, Andrea Henagan, Pat McGhee, Diane Gatlin and Tab Mitchell; one uncle, David (Ruth) Hawthorne. He also leaves several nieces and nephews, numerous cousins and countless friends.
A celebration of his life will be held at New Mt. Zion Baptist Church with Rev. Williams Colbert officiating on Saturday, November 30, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. Public visitation will be held on Friday November 29, 2013 from 2:00 until 6:00 p.m.
Interment will be in Greenville Cemetery with Military honors. Bearers of the casket will be Ricky Williams, Danny Gatlin, Gavin Hawthorne, Tracy Hawthorne, Stacy Hawthorne and James Miller.