The great Enthusiasm, Love of Life, Excitement and Vitality that was Gary can never die. He still abounds. He is as real today as he was yesterday. We, who are left behind, will just have a harder time accessing his essence. He absolutely loved the life he lived, and he lived each day to the fullest. Our best wishes go with him on his onward journey.
Gary Thornley Hawes was a Valentine baby, born 14 February 1939 at his Grandmother’s home in Aberdeen Idaho, the oldest of seven children of Clair and Afton Thornley Hawes. He died in a tragic airplane crash near Santa Clara, Utah on 7 May 2014.
Gary was a graduate of Aberdeen High School where he served as Student Body President. A yearly occurrence was to return for Aberdeen Days each year for a Picnic in the Park and enjoy a high school reunion. He was already planning to attend this June. About ten years ago, he was privileged to give the graduation address at Aberdeen High, and this was one of his life’s highlights.
Gary had a life long desire to become a pilot, and attended the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs for two years. However, a greater call came, and he resigned from the Academy in order to accept a mission call, where he served in the Northern States Mission. Upon his return he enrolled at the University of Utah and joined the ROTC. He married his sweet Suzan in the Salt Lake Temple on 24 January 1964 and embraced her family as his own.
Gary and Suzan were blessed with four beautiful children, and nothing brought him greater joy than being with his children and grandchildren. His family was his first priority.
He also loved his nation, his flag, and the United States Air Force. He and Suzan had many moves: Arizona, California, North Carolina, England, Germany, and Korea. After military retirement, Gary became a pilot for SkyWest Airlines, and moved to St. George. After SkyWest retirement, Gary flew for private individuals, which included taking several airplanes to Africa, and what he calls the “Icing of his Flying Life” which was being hired by Yeti Airlines in Kathmandu, Nepal, where he spent six months flying tourists around the top of Mt. Everest. For the last several years, Gary has worked as a private pilot for Nathan Ricks, and has so enjoyed the friendship he and Nathan shared.
Gary also loved the Scouting program. He never received his Eagle Scout, but was instrumental in so many young men- especially his own sons and grandsons – achieving this goal. He loved giving them flags which had been flown over the United States Capitol building.
Gary loved his church. He has served in numerous Bishoprics and Stake Presidencies. His most loved call was being Bishop, but he also loved working in Scouts, the Young Men’s program, serving a mission with his wife to the DI, and serving a Family History Mission.
Gary is survived by his wife of 50 years, Suzan Skye Maycock Hawes,
His four children: Gary and Wendy Hawes of Herriman, Utah, Sean and Kendra Hawes of St. George, Utah, Star Hawes Hill of Logandale, Nevada, and Christian Hawes of Las Vegas, Nevada. He has 15 grandchildren- Austin, Sydney, Jackson, and Shelby Hawes, Kenzie, Jake, Jordan, and Hudson Hawes, Skylar, Kaleigh, Keaton, and Skotlyn Hill, Micah, Ellie, and Finn Hawes. Gary is survived by siblings: Dallas Hawes, Danny and Anne Hawes, Hope Heaney, Gary and Joye Neal, and Ryan Hawes.
As I write this, I think about that smile that was always on his face and will always be on our minds.
Funeral services were held in St. George Utah on Saturday May 10, 2014. Arrangements were under the care of Heideman Hughes Mortuary 435-674-5000.