Sammy Lee Hawley, one of five children of Glendon Dwight and Catherine Ruth (Hoover) Hawley, was born September 13, 1947 in Auburn, Nebraska. He was baptized into the Methodist Church. Sammy began his education at Peru Prep in Peru, Nebraska and then received schooling in his parents’ home near Brock, Nebraska. Next he attended school in Nebraska City at an early version of the Educational Service Unit.
Sammy was a longtime client of Southeast Nebraska Developmental Services in Auburn, and in his later years lived in one of the organization’s residences in town. His jobs through the years included folding corners as packing for cabinets, strapping bundles of survey stakes, assembling pallets, making water bed rails, and serving as the main paper shredder. Other employees had to be careful not to leave loose papers on their desks, because he took his job seriously!
Sammy had many interests in life, and family was biggest of all of them. He was always interested in how his sisters were getting along with their lives, and in what his brothers were doing on the farm. He liked playing with his toy tractor, combine, and other farm equipment as if he were farming himself. Of course his red wagon was a constant part of his life. As his nieces and nephews grew he followed their activities, and loved their children as well. Sammy was always a part of gatherings and celebrations, and loved the family trips to Disney World and Sea World in Florida. Mickey Mouse and Shamu the Whale were favorites of his.
Other interests included putting puzzles together, bowling with his “Big Red” bowling ball, his pets, collecting rocks, and attending movies. He was a Husker football fan, and Johnny Rodgers was always his favorite Husker. He also enjoyed taking trips with fellow clients to Colorado, St. Louis, Kansas City, and various places in Nebraska. Later in life he began to enjoy watching old Westerns on television, especially those that starred John Wayne.
As his health failed, Sammy began to slow down in his activities, but he was able to stay at his home in Auburn. On Tuesday, March 10, 2015, with his family around him, he passed away at home at the age of 67 years, 5 months, and 25 days. His father Dwight preceded him in death.
Sammy is survived by his mother Catherine of rural Brock; sisters and brothers-in-law Carol and husband Robert Schmucker of Raymond, NE; Helen and John Jeanneret of Johnson; brothers and sisters-in-law John and Nancy Hawley of Auburn; Charles and Janet Hawley of Auburn; numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and –nephews; other relatives; and his SENDS family.
A funeral service will be Friday, March 13, 11:00 a.m. at Hemmingsen Funeral Home in Auburn. Burial will follow in Clifton Cemetery near Brock. Visitation will be at the funeral home Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., with family greeting friends 6:00 to 7:30.
Memorials in lieu of flowers are suggested to SENDS People First Organization.