The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

Thomas Wesley Hawes, Jr


November 15, 2017

Thomas Wesley Hawes, Jr., 78, passed away on Wednesday, November 8, 2017, following a long illness.

Tom was born on June 30, 1939 in Portland, Oregon to Thomas, Sr., and Alice Hawes. He attended Benson High School in Portland, Oregon and was active in the Boy Scouts of America, achieving Eagle Scout status and participating in the associated Sea Scouts organization.

That interest in seafaring led Tom to enlist in the U.S. Navy in 1956 as a boilerman. Over the course of his twenty-year career with postings as far away as U.S. Naval Air Station Agana in Guam, Tom served aboard the Baltimore class cruiser USS Los Angeles (CA 135) and USS Brush (DD 745), an Allen M. Sumner class destroyer. Tom reached the rate of Petty Officer First Class (E-6) and received a number of commendations from the U.S. Navy, including the Good Conduct Medal (Third Award), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Taiwan Straits), and National Defense Service Medal. While stationed in Long Beach, California, Tom met and married his wife of 54 years, Laura Bess.

After he retired from the U.S. Navy in 1976, Tom and Bess moved their family to Goldendale. Here, Tom worked at the Klickitat County Sheriff's Office for 20 years, eventually serving as Superintendent of the Jail before retiring in 1996. He returned after retirement to work an additional three years as Superintendent of Jails for his best friend, Sheriff Rick McComas.

He is survived by his wife, Laura Bess; son Thomas Hawes III; daughters Sheril Hawes and Karla (Hawes) Devries; son-in-law Jay Devries; sister Allaire (Hawes) Henneman; grandchildren Brittany, Teegan, and Grady; and great-grandchildren Brady and Kacie. He is preceded in death by his parents, his step mother Olivia Hawes and his beloved dog Nick.

Tom enjoyed golfing and fishing in his free time and frequently engrossed himself in handyman projects to the benefit of many. The Goldendale community was family to Tom. He enjoyed coffee with his friends every morning and was a 33-year member of American Legion Post #116 in Goldendale. Tom's family and friends would like to thank the people of Goldendale, especially Rick McComas and Connie and Larry Riches for the consideration shown to him as his dementia worsened. The small-town kindness and concern made his final years easier.

A celebration of life will be held at the American Legion on Friday, Dec. 1, at 5:30 p.m.


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