Johnny Alton Hawley
March 7, 1955 - April 26, 2024

Johnny Alton Hawley, 69, of Rocky Point, died peacefully on April 26, 2024 at home with his family by his side.

Johnny was born on March 7, 1955 in Erwin, NC.  He is the son of the late Huston Leon Hawley (Hilda G. Hawley) and the late Carolyn Avery Hawley Norris, Johnny is survived by his wife, Gwendolyn Page Hawley; brother, Kenneth W. Hawley (Carol); nephews, Houston R. Hawley (Lindsay) and Evan H. Hawley (Katie); and great-nephew, Houston Cade Hawley.

Johnny graduated from Erwin High School, Class of 1973.  After graduation, he began his career with the North Carolina Department of Corrections working at Polk Youth Center and Central Prison in Raleigh.  Upon turning 21, Johnny began his law enforcement career with the Dunn Police Department, where he advanced to the rank of Lieutenant in the Detective Division.  While Johnny served in many roles with the Dunn Police Department, in 1998 he was selected to serve in the personal security detail for US Senator Jesse Helms while Senator Helms was rehabilitating at Rex Hospital in Raleigh.  After 25 years of service with the Dunn Police Department, Johnny accepted a Lieutenant position with the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office as a detective and a member of the Special Response Team.

After completing a 30-year career in law enforcement, Johnny worked for Blackwater as a firearms instructor in eastern NC.  Later, he was deployed by Blackwater to Afghanistan and worked with the DEA during “Operation Enduring Freedom” where he served as an instructor and trained Afghan National Police Forces.

Prior to Johnny’s overseas deployments with Blackwater, he was an Investigator with the Wake County District Attorney’s Office.  Upon his return home from Afghanistan, Johnny was employed as an Investigator of cold cases with Harnett County Sheriff’s Department.  In 2021, Johnny worked with NC State University Professor, Dr. Ann Ross and together, they successfully solved a 20-year-old cold case using DNA.

Johnny’s other passions included training and showing horses in various disciplines to include; Halter, Western Pleasure, and Cutting.  In 2007, Johnny and Gwen decided to own their own horse farm where they trained and bred Quarter Horses for Cutting and also, bred and sold beef cattle.  Living close to the coast Johnny also enjoyed his time on the water fishing as often as time would allow.

A Celebration Of Life service will be held at Wrightsville United Methodist Church, 4 Live Oak Dr. Wrightsville Beach, NC on Friday May 3, 2024 at 10 am.

As a member of Wrightsville United Methodist Church, Johnny faithfully served Christ.  In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to Lower Cape Fear LifeCare in Wilmington, Wrightsville United Methodist Church in Wrightsville Beach, and UNC Rex Cancer Center in Raleigh

Coastal Cremations 6 Jacksonville St., Wilmington NC 28403


  • Durwood &LouAnne McLeod Posted April 29, 2024 1:04 pm

    Johnny was a great cousin. Heaven has gained a Precious Man. Prayers for comfort., strength and peace during the coming days. 🙏🙏

  • Teresa Midgett Posted April 29, 2024 2:41 pm

    It joys my heart knowing you two found your forever soul mates and lived many years taking care of each other, laughing together, and dancing in the den together alongside the orchid. Love you both. GodSpeed my friend.

  • Lillian Mauldin Posted April 29, 2024 6:09 pm

    Deepest sympathies and condolences for Johnny’s family. Rest in Peace dear old friend.

  • Wanda Hawley Molchan Posted April 30, 2024 8:43 am

    Johnny was a great person and cousin. We were close growing up. He accomplished so much in his life. Prayers for the family. I will always cherish the memories.

  • Tricia Staton Posted April 30, 2024 9:24 am

    Gwen: I know I haven’t seen you in ages, but I still remember our connection when our parents were friends. I’m so, so sorry to hear about your husband – he sounds like such a great guy. Praying for you, sweetie. Ron & Tricia LaGarde Staton

  • Becky Hawley Pope Posted April 30, 2024 1:39 pm


  • Jatana Patterson Posted April 30, 2024 9:43 pm

    Me and my brother Duane spent a lot of time with Johnny and Kenny growing up. He was a great cousin. Heaven gained another good soul. RIP Johnny.

  • Mrs. Ann Meier Posted May 1, 2024 1:20 am

    Life is just too short, no matter the years, leaving only memories. May the countless, fine memories of your beloved husband forever warm your hearts and bring smiles to your faces, even behind tears shed. May you find comfort in knowing that death was never God’s plan, (Gen.1:28; Rom.5:12) and one day death will be no more, as (Rev.21:4) loved ones will be resurrected (Acts 24:15) with the hope of life forever in paradise, on earth, as (Ps.37:11,29) God intended. Until then, a fine person, Johnny Hawley rests in God’s care and keeping.

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