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Second line parade honors life of Henry County man

6:29 AM, Dec 6, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- It was a celebration much like the man it honored -- full of music, love and the joy Joseph Hawkins brought to his life.

"When I die, the one thing I want you to do for me is have a big party," Katie Hawkins-Gaar said her father often told his family.

Katie never expected that day to come so soon. But when her 58-year-old father was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given just days to live, a plan quickly came together.

"He didn't want it to be a sad event," Katie said.

Katie planned a traditional New Orleans-style send-off for her dad after his death on November 15. Hawkins had a special connection to the Crescent City. He'd lived there as a young man. It's also where he met his wife and started his family.

Katie found a group of local musicians who performed a New Orleans "second line" parade through the streets of Atlanta's Cabbagetown neighborhood.

Katie and her husband recorded the celebration, posting a tribute to her father on YouTube.

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