Robert F. Hawk, 88, a prominent local attorney, died at his home in Butler Township under the care of Good Samaritan Hospice on Monday, March 1, 2021.
Born Aug. 4, 1932, a resident of Fairview Township, Bob graduated from Karns City High School on June 6, 1950.
Upon the 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 in the 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 B.A. degree. He graduated from Dickinson School of Law in June of 1958, with a juris doctor’s degree and was admitted to the Bar in 1959. Through 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 30 years. A visionary, his greatest regret was that his plans for an outlet mall at the former Pullman site were rejected by the City of Butler more than 10 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 counties) and served on that commission for more than 30 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 30 years. He was chairman of the board for 12 years, during which time the board developed education opportunities, job creation and incubator industries in 10 counties.
Hawk served Butler County as an assistant district attorney for 32 years, and during that period, handled more than 500 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 million.
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 more than 54 years.
Bob is also survived by his son, Allen Robert Hawk of Butler; and two nieces and two nephews.
On Feb. 15, 2013, 318 South Main St., the building where he practiced law, was dedicated to his honor by the current owner, Jeffery Banner Esq., by naming the building the “Robert F. Hawk Building.”