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Sep 9, 2019 12:42 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Richard Henry Haile Of The Shinnecock Nation Dies September 4

Sep 10, 2019 4:18 PM

Richard Henry Haile Jr. of the Shinnecock Indian Reservation died on September 4, 2019. He was 95.

Known to most as “Dick,” he was born to Golda F. Haile and Richard H. Haile II on August 20, 1924, in Massillon, Ohio. He grew up with his parents and three siblings in Columbia, South Carolina. He often regaled his family with stories about his very first Soap Box Derby and leadership with the Boy Scouts.

Mr. Haile served in the United States Army, serving from June 1943 through February 1946. While in the Pacific Theater he was a cryptographic technician 3rd grade in the Signal Corps, during which he wore “3 Chevrons over 3 Rockers.” He received the transmissions from General MacArthur and Yamashita signaling the end of the war. After the war had ended he was stationed in Japan where he learned about the culture of the people there and built many lifelong friendships.

Following his time in the service he continued his education. He graduated cum laude from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. He was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. He also fit in some time for a few cross country motorcycle trips.

Upon graduation he moved to Schenectady to work as a design engineer for General Electric. He designed large motors and generators for the company for 32 years before retiring. At his retirement, it was noted that he had designed 20,000 motors; more motors than any other person.

While in Schenectady he met the love of his life, Elizabeth Chee Chee Thunderbird Bess of Shinnecock. They married and raised four children. Together they shared their love of music and dance through teaching International Folk Dance for 35 years, calling for square dances, contra dances, participating in powwows and singing in church choirs and in barber shop quartets.

Survivors describe him as a caring and dedicated man who will be remembered for the happiness he brought to all who knew him.

Mr. Haile was predeceased by his siblings, Mary (Russell) McCann, Golda Vermelle Christoffers and Robert K. Haile; his wife of 58 years, Elizabeth Chee Chee ThunderBird Haile; a grandson, “Chris-man” Bowers; and sister-in-law Grace L. Smith.

He is survived by his children, Scott Haile, Holly Haile (Harry) Thompson, Christina M. (Donald) Tarrant and Benjamin Kellis Haile; niece Sherry McCann (Ken) DeBoer; nephew Henry Christoffers; sisters-in-law, Edythe Gregoire and Margo ThunderBird; brother-in-law Frederick C. (Sabrina) Bess; grandchildren, Bradden Canku (Kelly) Smith, Matauqus Q. Tarrant, Tohanash Tarrant, Newequash C. Haile, Wunetu Wequi Tarrant, Waban Neetskeh Tarrant, Kaysha Nonowe Haile, Nadonis Josephine Tarrant, Sampwe Usseonk Tarrant; five great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Visitation was at Brockett Funeral Home in Southampton on Monday and a service took place at the First Presbyterian Church of Southampton on Tuesday.

Memorial donations may be made to the Padaquohan Medicine Lodge, Inc., Box 5078, Southampton, NY 11969.

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