Retired Navy Cmdr. Neil T. Hawley, 49, of Fredericksburg died peacefully Sunday, January 31, 2010, surrounded by his family and friends.
Neil was survived by his wife, Marie; sons, Alexander, Garrett and Hunter, all of the home; parents, Neil and Patricia Hawley; sisters, Kim Stillitano and husband, Anthony and Karen Vanderwiel and husband Paul; all of Pennsylvania; mother-in-law, Virginia Finochetti; brother-in-law, John Finochetti, and sisters-in-law, Aline Finn, Carole Foley and husband Pat, Jean Clark and husband Dave, all of Boston, MA; proud uncle of numerous nieces and nephews who always admired Uncle Neil, the Navy pilot.
Neil was born in Erie, Pennsylvania. After graduating, from Fairview, Pennsylvania high school, Neil received his mechanical engineering degree from The Pennsylvania State University in 1983. Upon graduation, he was commissioned in the Navy and received his designation as a Naval Aviator. Neil was proud to have flown the P-3 Orion during his more than twenty years of service with the Navy, retiring with the rank of Commander. At the time of his illness Neil was a pilot with United Airlines, having enjoyed flying to destinations around the world. Flying for Neil had been a dream since childhood, one that he lived for all his adult life. Neil was a devote catholic and parishioner of St. Jude Catholic Church.
Neil was a devoted husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend to many. He consistently placed his family and friends first, even during his 4-1/2 year ferocious battle with cancer. His strength and courage during this arduous time were heroic and those who knew him never forget the example he set in perseverance. He will be greatly missed.
We would like to give special thanks to all of the family and friends that have supported and loved us throughout all the ups and downs of this journey.
A Mass of celebration will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, February 4 at St. Mary Catholic Church . Burial will be at a later date in Arlington National Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 6-9 p.m. Wednesday, February 3 at Covenant Funeral Service, Fredericksburg with a prayer service at 8:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hawley Children College Fund c/o Virginia Partners Bank 410 William St., Fredericksburg, VA 22401.