Atlantic Highlands, NJ – Joseph B. Hawley, who comes from a very well-known and prominent family known for their decades of public service, and lifelong resident of Atlantic Highlands, passed away on May 1 after a long illness.
Throughout the years, Mr. Hawley was an outspoken advocate for whom he represented and was referred to by many as the “unofficial mayor” of Atlantic Highlands. He was a fixture at local public meetings and was passionate, loyal, and dedicated. He would go out of his way to help an injured or homeless animal. He loved to walk, read books, and he spent his spare time fundraising for a variety of charities. Most of all, he loved spending time with family and close friends.
Mr. Hawley was employed as the general manager of both Julia’s Restaurant in Atlantic Highlands and Havana Tropical Café in Highlands. For 15 years, he served as the operator and property manager of Bay Haven Property Management LLC, Atlantic Highlands. He also worked as columnist for the Courier in Middletown.
Mr. Hawley attended the Atlantic Highlands Elementary School, Croydon Hall Academy, and graduated from Henry Hudson Regional High School. In 1986 he graduated with honors from Kean University with a BA in History and Public Administration.
Coming from a very prominent political family, Mr. Hawley directed many Democratic Party campaigns on the local, county, and state levels and served as campaign consultant for many candidates. He served on Governor McGreevey’s Inaugural Committee and served on Governor Florio’s Task Force on the Restoration of State Education Aid. Mr. Hawley served as AH Democratic Municipal Chairman (1992-2006), Monmouth County Democratic Executive Committee (1986-2006), president of the AH Democratic Club, AH Democratic Committeeman, member of NJ Democratic State Committee, president Monmouth County Bayshore Democratic Club, president Monmouth County Young Democrats, Pallone For Congress Committee, delegate to the Democratic National Convention (1988 and 1992), and the 1992 Democratic Convention Platform Committee. He served on the Democratic National Committee Task Force on Voter Registration and chaired over 100 voter registration drives.
Mr. Hawley served as an elected member of both the Henry Hudson Regional and AH Elementary School Boards of Education. He served as vice president of AHES BOE and delegate to both the Monmouth County School Board Association and the NJ State School Board Association.
In his community, Mr. Hawley served as the vice chair of the Shade Tree Commission, chair of the Recreation Committee, Planning Board, vice chair of Zoning Board of Adjustment, Youth Commission, Assistance Board, Mayor’s Ball Committee, Community Events Committee, Chamber of Commerce. He served on the Mayor’s Public Relations and Beautification Advisory Committee, Memorial Day Parade Committee, AH Firemen’s fair Committee, coordinator for the AHPD PBA Ball, and executive committee member and trustee for AH Pop Warner Association. He co-chaired the Mark Spatola Memorial Blood Drive for 10 years and served as a trustee for Monmouth County Check-Mate Inc for 20 years.
Mr. Hawley also served for 16 years as the Director of The AH Office of Emergency Management, member, past president, captain, training officer, and life member of the AH First Aid Squad, as well as past member of AH Fire Department Hose Company #1.
For the past 13 years, Mr. Hawley has been the president of the Genevieve M Hawley Memorial Foundation, an organization founded following the death of his mother. This organization has awarded over $50,000 in scholarships and community service awards to local students, assisted in the renovation of the Highlands Community Center, provided summer camp scholarships for needy children, financially supported an array of community events, financially aided children’s reading programs, and purchased police dog vests for police departments across the state.
Born in Red Bank, Mr. Hawley was predeceased by his parents; Genevieve M Hawley and Bart J Hawley. He is survived by his brother; Atlantic Highlands Fire Marshall Martin Hawley and his wife Lynn of Atlantic Highlands; three sisters, Saranne Weimer and her husband Arthur, of Atlantic Highlands; Annette Jordan, and her husband Robert of Freehold; and Regina Hawley-Keelen and her husband Christopher of Atlantic Highlands. He also leaves behind nine nieces and nephews; Saranne E Weimer, Arthur J Weimer Jr, Kyle Weimer, Stephanie Hawley, Martin Hawley Jr., Kassandra Jordan, Tyler Jordan, Kendall Keelen, and Genevieve Rose Keelen; his good friends John Valentin, Steven Turner, Maureen Pitman, Mary Wall, the Spatola Family; his special aunt, Joyce Rast Costine, as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins, extended family members and friends.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the John P Condon Funeral Home Route 36 Leonardo. In lieu of flowers, kindly make memorial donations to the Genevieve M. Hawley memorial Foundation, c/o Saranne Weimer 34 E Lincoln Ave Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716.