George R. Hawthorne, 67, passed away Tuesday, September 10, 2019 at Magnolia’s of Lancaster Memory Care Center with his devoted wife by his side, after a valiant 24 year fight with Parkinson’s Disease and more recently, Lewy Body Dementia.
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George was a 1970 graduate of Newark High School. He graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, and West Chester University with a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice.
In 1974, George began his impressive career in the Delaware Department of Corrections as a Probation and Parole Officer. He steadily moved through the ranks to become the Director of Probation and Parole for the State of Delaware. In 1990 and again in 2002, he was named the Employee of the Year for the State of Delaware. After he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1995, he made the decision to transfer to the prison system and became the Deputy Warden of Gander Hill Prison, a 2000 bed prison in Wilmington, DE, a position that he loved.
George was an expert marksman, winning many awards and participating on several sharpshooting teams. He also loved playing golf and traveling with his wife throughout the world, his favorite trips being the many cruises they took together. His greatest joy was his family. He was an adored son, husband, father, brother, and grandfather. The time he spent with his family will always be cherished.
George was forced to retire in 2003 from the career he loved due to the progression of his Parkinson’s Disease. In 2013, George began to show symptoms of a very aggressive form of Dementia, Parkinson’s Dementia with Lewy Body. Much research has yet to be done about this devastating illness.
He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Daryl Willard Hawthorne, New Holland, his mother Elsie Hawthorne, Newark DE, his daughter, Mindy Fineberg, Talmage, and the joys of his life, his two granddaughters, Kyleigh and Ellison Fineberg, Talmage.
He is also survived by three brothers, Ed (Kathy) Haslet, TX, Jeffrey (Linda) Joliet, IL, Michael, Blacksburg, VA, and one sister, Nancy Wilson (Greg) Middletown, DE. George was predeceased by his father, Edward McCullum Hawthorne.
We would like to thank the staff of Magnolia’s of Lancaster for the wonderful care and love shown to George during his 7 ½ month stay with them. We are also very grateful to the nurses and staff at Grane Hospice for the comfort and care they provided all of us during the last 3 months of his life.
A celebration of his life will be held at Groff High Funeral Home, 145 W. Main St., New Holland, PA on Monday, September 16, with Chaplain Bryce Stone officiating. Relatives and friends are invited to a visitation at 10am, with a service to follow at 11 am. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Team Magnolia’s of Lancaster Walk to End Alzheimers, or directly to the Alzheimer’s Association, so we can continue the fight to find a cure for the devastating disease of Dementia.