Steamboat Arabia excavator Bob Hawley dies at 89

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Arabia Steamboat Museum announced Tuesday that Arabia excavator Harland “Bob” Hawley has died.

According to his obituary, Hawley passed away Monday at the age of 89.

He was a husband, father, church pastor, entrepreneur, and a principal person in the recovery of the sunken 1856 steamboat Arabia.

The steamboat is considered a national treasure. The Arabia’s collection of more than 200 tons of recovered artifacts is displayed in Kansas City’s River Market District, at the Arabia Steamboat Museum.

Hawley’s son Gregoary Hawley, who was also instrumental in the recovery and operation of the Arabia was killed in a car crash in Jan. 10, 2009.

Funeral services for Hawley are scheduled for Friday Jan. 11 at 10 a.m. The service will be held at Speaks Funeral Home located at 18020 East 39th Street in Independence.

“His dedication to the project and guidance over the years will be greatly missed,” the museum said Tuesday.

“Bob Hawley was a man who loved the adventure of the outdoors. He honored the grip of an honest handshake, content to work all day for a fair wage, and quick to give of his abundance to his church and those in need. With the realization that he was experiencing symptoms of the fatal ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Bob continued to set a strong and unwavering example to all who attended his personal care throughout his final chapter of life.”



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