He flew thousands of miles during the holidays to be with his mother.
Roosevelt boys basketball coach Steve Hathaway got on a plane and arrived in Iowa a few weeks ago to spend time with his mom, Lorna Beckwith, as she laid in a hospital, extremely ill.
He returned to the islands in time for the Rough Riders’ OIA regular-season opener against Castle two days after New Year’s. After Roosevelt’s close loss to Kahuku on Friday, he and his family boarded a flight. En route to California, one of three flights before getting back to Iowa, Hathaway got the news on Saturday: mom had passed on.
Mom nurtured her son’s competitive and athletic abilities.
“She was at every game. She taught me how to throw a spiral and I ended up playing quarterback in high school,” Hathaway texted on Sunday.
Two years ago, Hathaway’s father, “Big Steve,” died at 62. His mom was a rock, a steadying influence. She was just 59.
Hathaway’s Facebook page was showered with support and prayers from friends near and far.
“All the support the community has shown me and my family really means a lot to me,” he texted.
The family is staying in Council Bluffs through the funeral service on Wednesday.
Lorna Beckwith was, in many ways, Steve’s heroine: a divorced mom who, at times, had to be an uncompromising disciplinarian. Hathaway, a teacher at Alvah Scott Elementary School, penned this on his Facebook page.
“Some have asked me why I am so tough on kids about their grades. It’s because of one woman, my mom. See when I was in 7th grade my mom taught me a valuable lesson that at the time I hated her for. She made me quit the basketball team on the day we got our uniforms. I was a starter on the A team and had to quit. I had straight A’s except for a D in art because I never turned in my assignments. They were in my locker but I never turned them in.
“Years later I realized the lesson she taught me was school was the most important thing growing up. I needed to get an education and take ALL of my classes seriously if I wanted to do something with my life. I still tell this story to people and thank her for that valuable lesson. Today I am a teacher with a Masters Degree and am a High School Head Coach that is trying to teach my players the same lessons that my mom taught me about being a Student before an athlete. Thank you mom for all the lessons you taught me. I will miss you everyday. I love you.”
Assistant coach Kenny Lindsay is at the mantle for Roosevelt until their head coach returns.
“I told my team the only thing that can make me feel good when I am gone is that they play their hearts out,” Hathaway texted.
Roosevelt, 2-1 in league play, will play at Kailua on Tuesday before hosting Kaimuki on Saturday.