CAMET “Hawk” CHESTER HAWTHORNE
2 May 1936 – 4 August 2012
Camet was born in Sugar Grove, VA on May 2, 1936 to Robert McCoy Hawthorne (1896-1978) and Mary Beatrice Addie Parks Hawthorne (1901-1992). Together, they had 8 children. Camet grew up with 4 brothers and 3 sisters in a rural area of the Western part of Virginia gaining a deep appreciation for nature. The solitude of the rolling hills and thick forests prepared him well for the task that lay ahead.
Camet married the beautiful Leda Elizabeth Hammons Hawthorne (B 1941), daughter of Henry and Hazel Hammons on September 19th, 1957 in Pineville, West Virginia. Together they had a son, Donald Ray Hawthorne and three daughters: Lavonda “Katie” Kay Hawthorne Overbay (B 1958) who married Allen Ray Overbay; Tammy Gay Hawthorne Gallimore (B1959) who married Kenneth Craig Gallimore; and Mary Ellen Hawthorne Green. They visited “home” often despite being stationed where the military needed them. The Bluefield Daily Telegraph, WV reported such a visit to Leda’s family in their August 31, 1964 edition, prior to the then SGT Hawthorne and his family returning to their duty station in Colorado Springs, CO. In the August 7, 1966 edition is indicates the duty station to then be Ft. Benning, GA.
A career soldier, SSG Camet’s early career included serving in Viet Nam as the Platoon Sgt of 2nd Bde LRPs, 4th Infantry Division from 1966 to 1967. In his long military career culminating in a position of First Sgt in Ft. Benning, he was, no doubt, prepared well while a member of 2nd Bde LRPs. Those who served with him remember him fondly and with great gratitude and respect as evidenced by Ranger Bob Smyers thoughtful remembrance:
“Camet was the Platoon Sergeant I served under as a LRRP. I remember him as a kind, gentle, trustworthy man, who was always kind to everyone. He had a persona that just said to you, this is a guy you can trust to do all he can to help you if you need it. He was not the screaming type leader but got things done through his gentle persuasion. You just wanted to do it, not because of his position, but because you respected him. One of the great traits he displayed as our leader was consistency. He was the same all the time. After Vietnam I saw him at Fort Benning, and he was the same in spirit and action. He went retired from the Army as a First Sergeant and now resides in Eufula, Alabama. How many lives you have touched by your gentle spirit only God knows, Hawk. But I, for one, have always remembered you for the kindness to your fellow soldier. Thanks and welcome home.”
Camet retired to Eufula, Alabama where he passed while surrounded by his loving family on August 4, 2012. He was laid to rest in the Fort Mitchell National Cemetery, Fort Mitchell Alabama
RANGERS LEAD THE WAY!