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Stanley Bryan Hawthorne

Stanley Bryan Hawthorne

Fairburn, SD
1939, 791, Lightning Creek, F-14, Member
1939-40, Camp Bob Marshall
1940-41, Harney Peak

RAPID CITY- Our husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend passed away on September 4, 2017.

Stanley Bryan Hawthorne was born in Pine Ridge, SD on March 25, 1922. His mother, Gertrude, had been one of the last homesteaders in western South Dakota and with Stand's father, Bryan, they acquired surrounding property near Fairburn on which to ranch and raise three children: Stan, sister, Mariana, and cousin, Charles Mitchell.

After graduating from Fairburn High School a year early, Stan joined the Civilian Conservation Corps. There he worked on fire towers, fought forest fires, and learned the art of masonry. Each day Stan and his crew would hike up Harney Peak, gather local stone, and build all the access and water supply supports for the fire tower. When talking of those years, he often mentioned a secret bottle of something the boys hid under some of that construction and he was sure it is still there.

During World War II, Stanley enlisted in the Army Air Corps and was trained as a pilot navigator. The class just before his was sent to the Pacific War, but President Truman's decision to end the war kept Stan's class at home.

While brick and block work was Stan's main profession, including being the superintendent of up to 30 men, artistry with stonework was his specialty. Stan was one of the only two card carrying stone masons in South Dakota and if you wanted to best stone work, you called Stan. Some of his projects were the Black Hills slate work at Mt. Rushmore, the Peter Norbeck memorial on Iron Mountain Road, the Evan's Hotel in Hot Springs, the Rapid City Catholic Cathedral, several I-90 rest stops, many schools and buildings in Rapid City and over 100 fireplaces in the area.

Benevolence was important for this Christian man. Just some of Stan's contributions of both time and money benefited the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, hunter safety instruction, Lutheran Church, Lutheran Outdoors, Black Hills Children Home, Boys Club, and Westhills Village.

Stanley was preceded in death by his mother, Gertrude Mae Hawthorne, father, Jennings Bryan Hawthorne.

He is survived by his wife of nearly 74 years, Jean; children: Neil, Patricia, and Steven; five grandchildren; and two great grandchildren.

Harney under construction

Funeral Service for Stan will be at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, September 8, 2017 at South Canyon Lutheran Church with Rev. Bruce Thalacker officiating.

Jean and the family wish to thank all the loving care the women at Westhills Health Care provided Stan. He enjoyed all their joking and teasing that made his days easier. They provided exceptional care for Stan.

Burial will be at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis with military honors rendered by the Rushmore VFW Post 1273 and the South Dakota Army National Guard.


Stanley Hawthorne was trained as a stone mason while working on a stone building at Bismark Lake. At that time he was stationed at Camp Bob Marshall in the winter of 1939-1940.

In 1940 and 1941, Stan worked building the stone stairway and lookout tower on Harney Peak (elevation 7,244 ft. (2208 m). Stone for this project was carried up the mountain by men or, using teams of horses and hauled using chariot-type carts.

The stone mason tools displayed at the CCC Museum of South Dakota were donated to the CCC Museum by Stan and are the tools used on the Harney Peal project. Exhibited are various sizes of chisels and drills, along with a mason's mallet and trowel.

Stan and Jean Hawthorne celebrated their 70th anniversary in 2013.

Display at the CCC Museum of South DakotaDisplay at the CCC Museum of South Dakota

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