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Bobby Hawley Sr., founder of The Hawley Co., dies at 87

Published October 16, 2018

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (BRAIN) — William Robert "Bobby" Hawley Sr., passed away last Thursday at age 87.

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Hawley was a bicycle retailer since his youth and went on to own several bike shops and founded the distributor The Hawley Company, which was later merged with Canada's Lambert. He was the father of longtime Hawley Company leader Steve Hawley. His sons William R. Hawley Jr., Mark, and David also worked for the family businesses.

Bobby was the youngest of seven siblings and grew up in Massey Hill, North Carolina. 

His dream of opening a bike shop dates to when he was 12. He bought four bikes from a man for $10 with money he had saved from his first job delivering and selling newspapers. He repaired the bikes and sold them for $10 each. Over the years he continued working, growing and saving money from his newspaper route to purchase land and build his dream. In 1964, with his wife Barbara, he opened Hawley's Cycle and Camping Center, which grew to five locations. 

Bobby and Barbara married in 1952 and were life partners as well as business partners for 65 years. The pair traveled the world together, visiting more than 50 countries.

"Bobby leaves a legacy of being a devout Christian who was very giving to his family, friends, community and church," the family said. "Bobby was a respected and successful businessman and entrepreneur. Methodist College named Bobby and Barbara Hawley co-recipients of the Small Business Excellence Award in 1997. Bobby loved attending UNC football and basketball games, traveling in his motor home, spending time with his grandkids, watching Hallmark movies, gardening, working Sudokus and jigsaw puzzles. He leaves us with wonderful memories, and his impact and influence on our lives will forever be felt."

The family would like to thank the many friends for their calls, cards, visits, prayers and support over the last few months. The family would also like to thank Phillip Hall of Community Hospice for his compassionate care and love shown to Bobby. All of you are loved and appreciated.

Services were held over the weekend. Memorial donations can be made to one of the causes that were close to Bobby's heart: Arran Lake Baptist Church, "All In" Building Fund, 1130 Bingham Dr., Fayetteville, NC 28304; Mack Roberts Evangelistic Association, P.O. Box 374, Dublin, NC 28332; Maurice and Vennie Hawley Scholarship, Methodist College, 5400 Ramsey St., Fayetteville, NC 28311.

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