Bernard Russell Hawley
Dr. Hawley died Monday, July 19, 2010, at Presbyterian Manor in Lawrence. A memorial service for Dr. Bernard Russell “Bernie” Hawley, pastor emeritus of First Presbyterian Church of Salina, will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Salina at 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 5.
Dr. Hawley died Monday, July 19, 2010, at the Presbyterian Manor in Lawrence, from complications of Parkinson’s disease.
He was born Nov. 22, 1926, in Ludlow, Mass., the son of Dr. Charles A. and Barbara Dickinson Kimball Hawley. At a young age, he moved with his family to Iowa City, Iowa, attending the “experimental school” at the University of Iowa. The family eventually moved to Atchison, where he graduated from Atchison High School.
He attended Kansas University as a Summerfield Scholar before enlisting in the Navy during World War II. During two years in the Navy, he served as a crewman on a seaplane tender. After completing his service, Dr. Hawley attended Hamilton College in New York before returning to Kansas and graduating from Ottawa University in 1949.
After graduating from Ottawa University, he began a career in radio broadcasting as part-owner and on-air talent at KOFO in Ottawa, and on KFDI in Wichita. In 1954, he found his calling to minister and in 1955 he entered McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. During his second year at the seminary, he accepted a position with a church in Clinton, Ind., while continuing his studies. He graduated from McCormick in 1958 at the top of his class and was awarded a fellowship for further study. He declined the fellowship and accepted the role of assistant pastor at Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church in Severna Park, Md. In 1959, he was named pastor of the church, a position he held for six years before returning to Kansas.
Dr. Hawley became pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Salina in 1965. Over the course of 22 years with the church, he was instrumental in bringing the Presbyterian Manor to Salina. He attended ecumenical conferences in Italy, Spain, Hungary and Switzerland, and led church members on tours of the Holy Land and to see the Passion Play in Germany.
He was a member and president of the Rotary Club. He served on the board of directors for McCormick Theological Seminary and the Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America. While serving at First Presbyterian Church, he was honored with a doctorate from Sterling University. Dr. Hawley retired from the First Presbyterian Church in 1987 and became an interim pastor serving congregations at San Marino Community Church and Palm Desert Community Church in California. In 1991 he and his wife retired to Surprise, Ariz.
Following the loss of the space shuttle Challenger crew in 1986, Dr. Hawley was asked to officiate at the national memorial service for the seven fallen astronauts held at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. In 2003, NASA again called on him, asking him to lead a memorial service for Robert Gilruth, considered the “father of America’s human space flight program.” In June 1986, Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas asked him to offer the opening prayer for the first televised Senate hearings. He also conducted the wedding services for his four children.
He married Lois Jeanne Dick in 1950. She survives.
Other survivors include three sons, Dr. Steven A. Hawley and wife Eileen, of Lawrence, Dr. John F. Hawley and wife Kathryn, of Earlysville, Va., and the Rev. James R. Hawley and wife Amy, of North Platte, Neb.; a daughter, Dr. Diane K. Hawley and husband Bernard Robe, of Eugene, Ore.; and two grandchildren, Jamie Lynn Hawley and Aaron Hawley.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Charles D. Hawley, and a sister, Mary B. Hawley.
The family suggests memorials to the First Presbyterian Church of Salina, 308 S. Eighth St., Salina, KS 67401.
Online condolences may be sent at www.warrenmcelwain.com.