Thomas L. Hennies, 70, Rapid City, died at St. Marys Hospital, Rochester, MN, Tuesday, August 11, 2009.
He was born August 11, 1939 in Wagner, S. Dak., the son of Lewis and Mariellen (Bailey) Hennies. The family moved first to Chamberlain and then to Rapid City in 1942.
Tom graduated from Rapid City High School in 1957 and began work as a fireman for the Chicago Northwestern Rail Road. During the winter layoff, Tom enlisted in the United States Army. He took his basic training at Ft. Carson, CO and additional training at Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey. In Sept. of 1958 he arrived in northern Japan as a member of the U. S. Army Security Agency. A year later he was transferred to Korea where he served the remainder of his three years of active service. Upon discharge from the Army, Tom began college at Black Hills Teachers College at Spearfish and ultimately earned a Bachelors Degree. He later attended the University of S. Dak. and earned a Masters Degree. Tom is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the National Homicide Institute and many other law enforcement courses.
He was married to Ann Luedemann on June 16, 1963, and from this union two children were born, Shannon and Shane.
On June 1, 1965 Tom joined the Rapid City Police Dept. as a patrolman and worked through the ranks to become Chief in 1984. He served as Chief of Police for sixteen years, Rapid Citys longest standing Chief of Police. Tom was elected to the S. Dak. House of Representatives and served for eight years until being term limited in 2006. During this time he served on the Judiciary Committee and was Chairman of the Local Government Committee. During this time Toms brother, Don Hennies, also served one term in the House. They were the first brothers to serve in the State Legislature in the history of South Dakota.
Tom believed that everyone has an obligation to make things better for their fellow man and to do so one must stay involved in the community. He was involved in the Downtown Lions Club, the Board of Directors of the Dakota Boys Ranch in Minot, ND, a founder of the Rapid City Community Care Center for the homeless, the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce, S. Dak. Voices for Children, past chair of the Mid-States Organized Crime Information Center in Springfield, Mo, the Rapid City Planning Commission, president of the S. Dak. Municipal League and a Life Member of the VFW and the Zion Lutheran Church. He was an adjunct professor for Black Hills State University, the University of S. Dak. and the School of Mines in such subjects as Sociology, Constitutional Law, Judicial Process, state and local government and United States Government.
Survivors include his wife, Ann Hennies; a daughter, Shannon Lockett and a son, Shane Hennies, and his wife Mandy all of Rapid City; two brothers, Rev. Ronald Hennies and his wife Leona, Los Alamos, New Mexico and Donald Hennies and his wife Jean, Sioux Falls, S. Dak., and six grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother Frank.
Visitation will be from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM Monday, August 17, at the Osheim & Schmidt Funeral Home.
Services will be at 1:00 PM Tuesday, August 18, in the Rushmore Room, at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center with Rev. Duane Duley and Rev. Chris Lockie officiating. Interment, with military honors provided by the Rushmore VFW Post 1273 Honor Guard and the S. Dak. National Guard, will be at the Black Hills National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be given to the Zion Lutheran Church Building Fund or the Cornerstone Rescue Mission.
Friends may sign the online guest register and offer condolences at www.osheimschmidt.com.
This memorial provided by:
OSHEIM & SCHMIDT FUNERAL HOME