Remembering Fallen Lions


In Memory of

Lion Ron Trautman

Lion Ron Trautman died unexpectedly on May 22, 2003 after complications from heart surgery. Ron was to be the Rapid City Lions President for the coming year. We were looking forward to his leadership and greatly miss him.

Ron was survived by his wife Nancy, three sons, three stepsons, five grandchildren, his father, two sisters, and one brother.

Ron had been a member of the Rapid City Lions since 1996. He also served as a Lion in Mitchell, South Dakota before moving to Rapid City.

The Rapid City Lions Club dedicated its 2003-2004 service to the memory of Ron Trautman.

"It is the responsibility of each person to make their own happy memories."

Ron Trautman



















In Memory of

Lion Dave Gibson


Lion Dave became a Lion in 1979 when he was on active duty in the US Air Force. His first club was Hooterville Lions in Minot ND followed by Great Falls Lions, then Ellsworth Lions before transferring to the Downtown Lions Club. He loved to travel and collected Lions pins everywhere he went.

Dave retired from the Air Force in 1988. After searching for a second career in South Dakota and Washington, Dave and his wife, Joyce, settled down in the Rapid City area. Joyce was a Lion too and had transferred to the Downtown Club from the Gateway Club.

Dave had secured employment at the main post office in Rapid City handling mail in the back room on the 10:30pm to 7:00 am shift. The schedule leant itself to travel. Through the 90's, the two Lions traveled by motorcycle throughout the United States, Canada and Alaska.

Their ties with Lions grew as the years passed. Lion Joyce would later say, "It’s amazing how many people you get to know - open and friendly. So many clubs around wherever you go. Dave knew a lot of people!" He was a great role model and mentor of young Lions.

By 2003-2004, Lion Dave was named the Club’s Lion of the Year. He was very active in all levels of Lionism with a goal of being District Governor. In 2004-2005 he was Club President and also received the Melvin Jones Fellow award that year . Lion Joyce Gibson would follow as Club President in 2008-2009. By 2010, Lion Dave was 2nd Vice District Governor.

On July 10, 2010, Dave had come home after his night shift, met his wife and told her that he was going to ride into town to do a few errands. He apparently fell asleep on his way home and crashed his motorcycle into a row of substantially anchored mail boxes. His injuries were severe. After several years in hospitals, the VA and a nursing home, Lion Dave Gibson would pass away on February 20, 2013.


In Memory of

Lion Tom Hennies

Lion Tom Hennies transferred into the Downtown Lions Club from the Sunrise Lions Club around 1972. He was very active and supported every challenge presented to the Club. This included major work and contributions to the Girls Club, the Cornerstone Mission and many others.

Downtown Lions remember Tom as a leader who could shift easily from his role as a career police officer, police chief and legislator to the role of a Lion. He was a strong supporter and active participant in the Club. He brought an unmatched sense of humor and comradery to liven up the work of the Lions. He was always there whenever he was needed. In remembrance, one Lion in the Club said of Tom, "....he was like my dad and I miss him."

Lion Tom served as the Club President in 1982-1983. He was active in Lions for more than 40 years until his untimely death on August 11, 2009. By coincidence, this day was also Lion Tom Hennies’ 70th birthday. To honor his service, Downtown Lion Shane Hennies, the son of Lion Tom Hennies was awarded the Melvin Jones Award the following year.


In Memory of

Lion George Brown

Lion George became a member of the Downtown Lions in March of 1974. The Club President at that time assigned him as the greeter where he soon learned every Lion’s name. There were 85 members then.

Within a few short years, Lion George was Zone Chairman where he served from 1977-1978. Through his efforts, other clubs in the zone started to work closer together. He made a point of visiting each Club several times a year. In 1978-1979, George served as the Deputy to the District Governor and continued to visit other Clubs regularly.

George’s first year as Club President was in 1981-1982 followed by the Club’s Lion of the year award in 1982-1983. He would return for a second time as Club President in 1988-1989 was recognized as the Club’s Lion of the Year again in 1990-1991.

At the 70th Anniversary of the Club’s charter, Lion George received the Melvin Jones Fellowship award on January 4, 1992. Once again when a Club President was needed in 1998, Lion George stepped up to serve a third year as Club President from 1998-1999. Ten years later in 2008, he was inducted into the South Dakota Lions Hall of Fame. Lion George Brown was a Life Member in Lions and during his time as a Lion he sponsored more than 27 new members into the Club.

Lion George Brown’s advice was "Make sure that when you are asking for something to be done, that you follow-up on stuff. Call people - be there yourself!" Also, "Conventions were a lot of fun! Our Club actually sponsored a new Lions Club in Saskatchewan - it was great!"

On Saturday, March 19, 2016, while at his home in the presence of his  loving wife, Patsy, George A. Brown, age 81, went peacefully to be with  the Lord.