07

Jun

Black Hills National Cemetery Stories

Thomas A. McKee

Thomas A. McKee Thomas Arthur McKee, the only child of Lee and Bessie McKee, was born on February 6, 1918 in Rapid City, South Dakota. The Black Hills of Thomas’s childhood were riddled with the mineshafts and dwindling towns remnant of the Gold Rush era, but were yet untouched by the looming tourism boom spurred by President Coolidge’s summer excursions and the carving of Mount Rushmore. Thomas spent his youth doing chores on his family’s…

07

Jun

Black Hills National Cemetery Stories

Robert Andrews

Robert Andrews Robert Joseph Andrews was welcomed into the world by Agnes Cecilia and Roger Raynor Andrews on November 5, 1925. Robert, who usually went by his nick name ‘Andy’, grew up in Royal Oak, a small town in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, with his older sister Kathleen. During World War I, Andy’s father joined the US Army, and the town got all their war stories and news from their bosses at Henry Ford’s…

07

Jun

Black Hills National Cemetery Stories

Samuel DeCory

William Samuel DeCory William Samuel DeCory was born on June 4, 1936, at Two Strike Community near St. Francis, South Dakota, on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation to Sam DeCory Sr. and Ada Schweighman DeCory. Growing up, family and friends called William by his middle name, Sam. Sam had two Lakota names: the first was Isnala Wakan Inajin, which means “Stands Holy Alone.” This name was given to him by his grandfather, Frank Fools Crow,…

07

Jun

Black Hills National Cemetery Stories

Daniel H. Sullivan

Daniel H. Sullivan Daniel H. Sullivan was born October 6, 1933, in Providence, Rhode Island. He had many siblings: 3 brothers and 5 sisters. When Sullivan joined the Air Force in 1953, he completed his basic training in Plattsburg, New York. Once he graduated from basic training, he was stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, South Dakota, until 1960. While stationed at Ellsworth, he married the love of his life, Betty Sargent…

07

Jun

Black Hills National Cemetery Stories

Dennis Clarence Fitzgerald

Dennis Clarence Fitzgerald Dennis Clarence Fitzgerald was born January 6th, 1930, in New Underwood, South Dakota. Fitzgerald and his family later moved to Rapid City, South Dakota, where he first became interested in the United States Marines. Dennis Fitzgerald was only a sophomore in High School when the Freedom Train, displaying America’s great documents and guarded by the United States Marines, came to Rapid City. Once he graduated in 1947 from Rapid City Central High…