Charles Cheney Hathaway

Charles Cheney Hathaway, age 89, passed away Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, at Rapid City Regional Hospital, with his family at his side.

Charlie was born on Aug. 13, 1924, to Russell and Caroline (Cheney) Hathaway. He was raised in Manchester and finished high school at Bordentown Military Academy in New Jersey. Charlie followed in his father's footsteps, enlisting into the Army during World War II 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 first 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 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 have been spent at Somerset Court in Rapid City, S.D., where they have received great loving care. Charlie loved narrating tours of the Black Hills, excursions to various venues, ice cream days, and helping to maintaining his plants and the gardens. Charlie always livened the room with his personality, always the jokester and a very loving, devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather who will be deeply missed. In 1961, Charlie was initiated into the Masonic Lodge 7 in Deadwood. He was passed and raised to the Master Mason degree later that year and transferred to Custer City Lodge 66 in 1998. He recently received his 50-year pin and was an active Shriner.

Charlie and Joan raised four children, with the family growing they include: Sue and Mike Schmidt, Andover, Todd and Julie Hathaway, Commerce City, Colo., Megan and Dale Williamson, Chadron, Neb., Robert (Chip) and Kristina Hathaway, Sheridan, Wyo.; grandchildren, Christopher and Jen, Katy and Dan, Sarah and Derrick, Jacob and Brooke, Gillian, Gabriel, Shelby, Nick and Nichole; great-grandchildren, Briar, Asher, Charlie, Walter, Grant, and Hunter.

In Charlie's memory in lieu of flowers a donation can be made to Custer Community Church, UCC, 547 Harney St., Custer, SD 57730; and/or the Custer County Courthouse Museum , 411 Mt. Rushmore Road, Custer, SD 57730.

Joan and family would like to thank the SICU staff at Rapid Regional Hospital and the staff and residents at Somerset Court for their loving care.

Memorial services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, at the Custer Community Church, UCC, in Custer with the Rev. Bill Comfort officiating. Fellowship and luncheon will follow the service. Inurnment will be at 2 p.m. at Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis, S.D., with full military honors by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1273 of Rapid City and the South Dakota Army National Guard.

Friends may sign Charlie's online guestbook at

Kirk Funeral Home of Rapid City is in charge of the arrangements.

Funeral Home

1051 E MINNESOTA ST  Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 343-4808

Published in Journal Inquirer from Nov. 14 to Nov. 18, 2013