Robert F. Hawk, a prominent local attorney, age 88, died at his home in Butler Township under the care of Good Samaritan Hospice on Monday, March 1, 2021.
Born August 4, 1932 a resident of Fairview Township, Bob graduated from Karns City High School on June 6, 1950. Upon breakout of the Korean War, he enlisted in the Pennsylvania 28th Division, which had been called to active duty. He served in the U. S. Army of Occupation in Germany and was discharged in August 1952. He attained the rank of E-SPC1. Bob was a Life Member of American Legion Post 778 Lyndora.
He entered Pennsylvania State College in the fall of 1952 and graduated in June 1956 with a BA Degree. He graduated from Dickinson School of Law in June of 1958 with a juris doctor degree and was admitted to the Bar in 1959. Throughout more than 55 years of practice he maintained a diversified practice including jury trials in both criminal and civil cases.
Bob was an original member of the Butler County Planning Commission, serving as a member of the board and as its chairman for more than thirty years. A visionary, his greatest regret was that his plans for an outlet mall at the former Pullman site was rejected by the city of Butler more than ten years before the Grove City Outlet Mall was built.
Hawk was also a charter member of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Regional Planning Commission (Allegheny, Armstrong, Butler, Beaver, Washington and Westmoreland) and served on that commission for more than thirty years and as Chairman of the Board for two years.
Bob was also a charter member of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Economic Development District serving on that board for more than thirty years. He was Chairman of the Board for twelve years during which time the board developed education opportunities, job creation and incubator industries in ten counties.
Hawk served Butler County as an Assistant District Attorney for thirty-two years, and during that period, handled more than five hundred appeals to the Pennsylvania Superior Court, Pennsylvania Supreme Court and 3rd Circuit Federal District Court in Philadelphia with a success rate of greater than 90%. No Butler attorney has ever matched his extensive and successful Appellate Court practice and experience.
He served on the Board of Directors of Redshaw Incorporated, a consortium of Hartford Insurance, Kemper Insurance, Crum and Forester Insurance and St. Paul Insurance after negotiating the sale of Redshaw to Hartford for $25,000,000. Hawk also served as attorney for the Redshaw Consortium working with ITT and the Hartford attorneys to register the company to do business in all 50 states.
Hawk assisted Charles Fenton when Fenton managed the private operation of the Butler County Prison and later represented Fenton when he operated a pioneering private prison in Beaver County.
Bob served as solicitor for Cherry Township, Connoquenessing Township and Karns City Borough. He served as solicitor for Slippery Rock Borough for more than 20 years. He was solicitor for Cranberry Township when the township enacted its first zoning ordinance just in time to meet the explosive growth in that township.
In 1966, he married the beautiful and talented Kathleen Patricia Pollock who survives. They were married for over 54 years. Bob is also survived by his son, Allen Robert Hawk of Butler and two nieces and 2 nephews.
On February 15, 2013, 318 South Main Street, the building where he practiced law was dedicated to his honor, by the current owner Jeffery Banner, Esquire by naming the building the Robert F. Hawk Building.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Joseph A. Tomon, Jr. Funeral Home & Crematory, Ellport, PA.
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