Maurice Hanify |

Maurice Hanify

(April 20, 1920 – October 17, 2015)

Dr. Maurice M. Hanify, 95, of Belle Fourche, died Saturday, October 17, 2015 at home after a short illness, surrounded by his loving family.

Maurice Michael Hanify was born April 20, 1920, the tenth of twelve children, to Arthur and Mary (Walsh) Hanify on the family ranch north of Belle Fourche. He attended Owl Creek School and graduated from Belle Fourche High School in 1938.

After high school, he worked as a carpenter in Wyoming for two years and attended the University of Wyoming. He then moved to California where he worked at Lockheed Aircraft as a riveter on the nose area of the P-38 Lightning fighter. He returned home and married Elinor Sloan on November 29, 1948 at St. Paul Catholic Church in Belle Fourche. He continued working at the ranch until 1952 and then attended South Dakota State University for one year and Black Hills State University for one year, majoring in pre-veterinary science. He applied to and was accepted by the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, where he graduated in 1958.

After graduation, the family moved to Sturgis, where he worked with Dr. John Chamley for one year. He then moved to Belle Fourche and worked with Dr. R. M. Buck before purchasing the Sturgis Veterinary Hospital in 1966. He later established the Hanify Veterinary Clinic on West Highway 212 in Belle Fourche, conducting business there until 2009. Starting in 1969, he was the track veterinarian for pari-mutuel horse racing at the Roundup grounds in Belle Fourche. Over his career, he served as the veterinarian for the Sturgis Livestock Exchange, St. Onge Livestock, and the Belle Fourche Livestock Exchange.

Doc always knew the right way to treat his patients, from birds to buffalo. He could fix a cattle chute, catch the heels of a calf on the first throw, and was an expert cast maker for animals with broken legs using items he had saved in the barn. Maurice loved his hometown of Belle Fourche, ranching, animals, children, storytelling, family gatherings, watching football, and being Irish. Maurice lived a life of compassion, humility, hard work, and love of family. Living and working in the Tri-State livestock community, beating the unwary at cribbage, and his legendary sense of humor kept him young and going strong well into his 80s.

Maurice was a lifelong member of St. Paul Catholic Church, a Knights of Columbus member, and belonged to the American Veterinary Medical Association and the University of Minnesota Alumni Association. In 1994, he was selected as the Agri-Business Person of the Year by the Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce. He was also awarded a lifetime membership in the chamber in 2001. In 2005, Maurice was chosen as the Co-Marshal of the Black Hills Roundup Parade, sharing the honor with his sister Eva Rail.

Maurice is survived by his children, Doug (Judi) Hanify of Davenport, IA; Sheila (Don) West of Belle Fourche, Marianne (Tom) Peterka of Miller, SD and Maureen (Jeb) Clarkson of Belle Fourche, six grandchildren: Sarah Hanify of Omaha, NE; Evan West of Bozeman, MT; Michael Peterka of Minneapolis, MN; David Peterka of Syracuse, NY; Ryan Peterka of Spearfish, and Bailee (Clarkson) and Wes Fremont of Belle Fourche and many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Marjory Kulp of Englewood, CO and family friend Sandra Holcomb, D.V.M. of Buffalo.

Preceding him in death were his parents, his beloved wife Elinor, brothers, Arthur, Eugene, Kenneth, Robert, Richard, John Carle, and Jerry Hanify; sisters, Alice Blake, Patricia Mitchell, Mary Conner, and Eva Rail.

Visitation will be held from 2-5 p.m. on Thursday, October 22 at Kline Funeral Chapel. A Vigil will follow at St. Paul Catholic Church at 7 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, October 23 at the church with interment to follow at Pine Slope Cemetery. A memorial has been established.

The family wishes to thank the staff at Belle Estate Senior Living for the love and tremendous care given to their Dad for the last four years.

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