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Robert L. Hawthorne, Jr., 90, of Abbeville, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, September 11, 2019, at Ashley Place in Greenwood. Born August 25, 1929, in Abbeville, he was the son of the late Robert L. Hawthorne, Sr. and Bertha Elgin Hawthorne. Mr. Hawthorne was twice married, first to the late Betty Boyd Hawthorne and second to the late Janice Thompson Brown Hawthorne.
He attended Abbeville’s public schools and graduated from Wofford College in 1950 with a BA degree in Business. Following college graduation, Mr. Hawthorne served in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict and completed Cryptography Instructor School. After being discharged from the Army, he received his LLB degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1955.
Coming home to Abbeville, Mr. Hawthorne established his law firm and successfully practiced here for over forty years. Active in his profession, he was elected President of the Abbeville Bar Association and was a member of the South Carolina Bar and American Bar Associations. Mr. Hawthorne was admitted to practice law in all South Carolina State Courts, the United States District Court and the United States Court of Appeals. In recognition of his outstanding career, he was exceptionally honored by the South Carolina Lawyers Convention in Charleston, named the Abbeville Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year and presented its Distinguished Award.
Mr. Hawthorne was known for his legal expertise and served as a former Abbeville County School Board Attorney and City of Abbeville Attorney. Involved in his community, he was past president of the Abbeville County Development Board and the Abbeville Lions Club. Abbeville Savings and Loan (now Abbeville First Bank) designated him as Director Emeritus.
An enthusiastic bicyclist, Mr. Hawthorne was passionate about traveling; especially to the mountains of Highlands, NC. He enjoyed trout fishing, horseback riding and raising pure bred dogs. His interests also included history and genealogy.
At the time of his passing, Mr. Hawthorne had the longest continuous membership in Abbeville First Baptist Church, serving as a past Trustee, Deacon, Sunday School teacher and on the sanctuary remodeling committee.
In addition to his parents and wives, he was preceded in death by a brother, James ‘Elgin’ Hawthorne, Sr.
Mr. Hawthorne is survived by his daughters, Paula H. Weis (Alan) of Abbeville and Claire H. Mundy of Greenville; four grandchildren, Robert Alan Weis (Brooke), Charles Wesley Weis (Jenna), Stephanie Mundy Self (Craig) and Ellen Mundy; seven great-grandchildren, Eden Weis, Bobby Weis, Everett Weis, Brayden Moore, Mason Weis, Hagen Self and McCall Self; and his sister, Annie Mae (the late Aleck G.) Clark.
Robert’s motto was “be dependable, love mercy, do justly and walk humbly before our God”.
Funeral services to honor Mr. Hawthorne’s life will be 5:00PM, Saturday, September 14, 2019 in the chapel of Harris Funeral Home with Mr. James Elgin Hawthorne and Dr. Allen Kolb officiating. Following Mr. Hawthorne’s burial in Long Cane Cemetery, family and friends are invited to his home for a time of remembering and sharing.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to the Angel Tree Project, PO Box 656, Abbeville, SC 29620, UCMAC of Abbeville, PO Box 502, Abbeville, SC 29620, or the Main Street United Methodist Church Organ Fund, PO Box 656, Abbeville, SC 29620.
The family is at Mr. Hawthorne’s home in Abbeville.
A message of condolence may be sent to the family by visiting www.harrisfuneral.com.
Harris Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Abbeville is assisting the Hawthorne family.
United Christian Ministries of Abbeville
PO Box 502, Abbeville SC 29620
Angel Tree Project
PO Box 656, Abbeville SC 29620
Main Street United Methodist Church Organ Fund
PO Box 656, Abbeville SC 29620