Jay “Mike” Hawley was a kindhearted man who had a positive outlook on life and enjoyed everything he did. His passion was for his family, his community and his country. One of 13 children born to Harry and Grace (Brooks) Hawley, Mike was born December 14, 1932 in Afton. He died at McLaren Northern Michigan hospital in Petoskey Saturday, February 23, 2019 at the age of 86.
After graduating from Onaway High School, Mike served in the U.S. Army as a tank driver during the Korean War. Very patriotic, Mike loved his country and was a member of the Onaway Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 5857. Through the years Mike worked driving piling for road and bridge construction, managed the Marathon gas station in Onaway, delivered and set house trailers for Brewbaker’s Housing, and worked for Roman Engineering in Afton. He eventually retired from Detroit Tap and Tool in Cheboygan where he worked as a machinist for 30 years.
Mike and Mary Burrows were united in marriage at the Free Methodist Church in Onaway October 4, 1952. Blessed with 66 years of marriage, Mike and Mary were a great team. Devoted to each other, rarely did you see one without the other. Close with his children, Mike enjoyed spending time with his family. He and his son, Roger, enjoyed tractor and car shows and going to the casino. Mike enjoyed reunions and any family gathering; the more family, the merrier!
A lifelong resident of Afton, Mike was well-liked and seemed to know everyone. He loved his community and served as Walker Township supervisor and trustee as well as belonging to the Afton Community Club. Mike was also a member of the Indian River Sportsmen’s Club and was a 4-H Horse Club leader years ago.
An avid outdoorsman, Mike enjoyed camping, snowmobiling and horseback riding. He loved to take rides through the woods and was always ready to play a hand of cards. Mike was kindhearted and truly loved helping others never expecting anything in return. Easy-going, friendly, and extremely likable, he was never one to complain or hold a grudge. He loved deeply and lived life to the fullest every day of his 86 years. Mike will be fondly remembered and sadly missed.
Surviving Mike is his wife, Mary; a son, Roger; and a daughter, Randy (Dave) Haines, all of Afton; a daughter, Krista (Ted) Siler; a grandson, Jason Siler; and a great-grandson, Jeremiah Siler, all of Indian River. Mike also leaves three sisters, Minnie Jewel of Cheboygan, Ellen Ward of Horton and Lottie (Ralph) Villilla of Los Lunas, New Mexico; as well as numerous nieces and nephews and many friends.
Mike was preceded in death by his grandson, Terry James Siler; sisters, Iva (Frank) Brown, Dorothy (Richard) Pratt, Clara Hawley and Margaret Hawley; brothers, Fred (Edna), Joe (Katherine), Osmar (Betty, Louise), Oscar (June) and Alton (Ruby) Hawley; and brothers-in-law, Neil Jewel and Lawrence Ward.
Visitation was at the Chagnon Funeral Home Wednesday, February 27, until the time of the funeral service followed with military honors by the Onaway VFW Post 5857. Family friend, John Wilson will officiate. Mike’s final resting place will be in Afton at Walker Township Cemetery. Mike’s family has suggested in lieu of flowers contributions be made to McLaren Home Care and Hospice volunteer programs or to the Afton Community Club.