Published: Thursday, November 21st, 2013
Charles Cheney Hathaway was born Aug. 13, 1924, to Russell and Caroline (Cheney) Hathaway. He was raised in Manchester, Conn., and finished high school at Bordentown Military Academy in New Jersey.
Charlie followed in his father’s footsteps, enlisting in the Army during WWII and serving in the European Theatre. He served in Co. B, 254th Infantry Regiment, 63rd Division of the 7th Army between 1943 and 1946. Charlie ended active duty as a 1st Lieutenant with a battlefield commission, earning many medals, including the Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Badge and other special commendations.
In 1946, Charlie married his high school sweetheart, Joan Carol Todd, also of Manchester. Upon his graduation from the University of Connecticut Forestry Division in 1951, they headed west to Wyoming for Charlie to work with the U.S. Forest Service. They spent their forestry career in various places in Wyoming, Colorado and South Dakota on such locations as the Medicine Bow, the San Isabel and the Black Hills national forests. He retired in 1980 with over 33 years of service to his country.
After retirement from civil service, Charlie became a realtor in Custer, S.D., and a consultant on land management. He loved what he did and was respected for his honest integrity and unbiased opinion.
Charlie and Joan’s last few years were spent at Somerset Court in Rapid City, S.D. Charlie loved narrating tours of the Black Hills, excursions to various venues, ice cream days and helping maintaining his plants and the gardens.
Charlie always livened the room with his personality. He was always the jokester and was a very loving, devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
In 1961, Charlie was initiated into the Masonic Lodge No. 7 in Deadwood, S.D. He was passed and raised to the Master Mason degree later that year and transferred to Custer City Lodge No. 66 in 1998. He recently received his 50- year pin and was an active Shriner.
Charlie died Nov. 11, 2013, at Rapid City Regional Hospital with his family at his side. He was 89.
He is survived by his four children, Sue (Mike) Schmidt of Andover, Conn., Todd (Julie) Hathaway of Commerce City, Colo., Megan (Dale) Williamson of Chadron, Neb., Robert “Chip” (Kristina) Hathaway of Sheridan, Wyo.; grandchildren, Christopher and Jen, Katy and Dan, Sarah and Derrick, Jacob and Brooke, Gillian, Gabriel, Shelby, Nick and Nichole; and great-grandchildren, Briar, Asher, Charlie, Walter, Grant and Hunter.
In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to Custer Community Church, UCC, 547 Harney Street, Custer, SD, 57730 and/or the Custer County Courthouse Museum, 411 Mt. Rushmore Road, Custer, SD, 57730.
Memorial services were Nov. 15 Custer Community Church, UCC with Pastor Bill Comfort officiating. Inurnment followed at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis, S.D., with full military honors by VFW Post 1273 of Rapid City and the South Dakota Army National Guard.
Friends may sign Charlie’s online guestbook at kirkfuneralhome.com.
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