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Henry Lawatsch

Henry Lawatsch

Henry Lawatsch


- November 21, 2018

On November 19, 2018, Retired MSGT Henry Lawatsch received his final assignment to his eternal home in Heaven.  Hank loved God his Country, his family, and good old country music!  He worked hard and played hard.  That was his character.

     Hank was born July 2, 1942, to Henry and Agnes Lawatsch in Kingston, NY.  He was raised in Flushing, NY, with his brother, Peter, and loved working on motors of every kind!  As a young boy, he loved to take motors apart and put them back together---and add them to cars with wheels he’d made!  His first job was of course as a mechanic in a garage.

     Immediately following his 18th birthday in 1960, Hank joined the USAF with dreams of traveling the world and working on jet engines.  The Air Force instead assigned and trained him to work on radar equipment, sending him to various remote locations.  He loved the travel and responsibility and made a career of proudly serving our Country as a Radar Technician.  His most important task was controlling the Radar sites during the Vietnam War.  He retired in August 1980, moved to Montana, and married Cathy in September 1982.

     Hank loved beautiful women and was blessed with four beautiful daughters, Kathy Grosso, Cynthia, Lissa, and Amanda Garrett (Patrick); four granddaughters, Cassandra, McKenzie, Jaden, and Imani; and grandson, Jay.  He loved Hank Williams, Jr., George Jones, Uncle Willi, Jack Daniels, and slow dancing with Cathy…and giving airplane rides to his little girls.

     Upon retiring from the AF, Hank transferred his knowledge of Radar to Radio with the US Army Corp of Engineers in Fort Peck, MT, and then to Microwave Technician with the US Bureau of Reclamation in Loveland, CO, where his family would spend the next 20 years!

     Hank was passionate about the great outdoors; loved hunting, camping, and fishing with his daughters, his Labrador retrievers, and riding his Harley!  Upon retiring from the Bureau, he followed his dream to become a Harley mechanic and graduated from MMI in Phoenix, AZ, in 1998.  He worked on Harleys for a few years in Colorado before retiring to Sturgis, SD, where he enjoyed working at the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum for 10 more years.  Hank loved the Rally and especially the brotherhood amongst Riders.  He could tell you the entire history of the rally without blinking an eye!

     He is survived by his wife; his four daughters; his five grandchildren; one brother, Peter (Shirley) Lawatsch; a niece, Debby Rae; and a cousin, Margaret (Don) Alfonso.

     He was preceded in death by his parents.

     Hank will always be remembered for his deep love and commitment to God, our Nation, and his family, his great sense of sincerity, and love of life.

     Visitation will be Friday, November 23, beginning at 9:00 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Sturgis.

     Mass of Christian burial will be Friday, November 23, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Sturgis with Father Brian Christensen officiating.  Burial, with military honors, will follow at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.

     A memorial has been established to DAV.

     Condolences may be sent to the family at www.kinkadefunerals.com.



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