CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Chester Franklin Hawes, photographer for more than four decades for the Charleston Daily Mail, has died at age 86.
Hawes passed 6 a.m. Saturday at the Hospice facility located at Thomas Memorial Hospital after a long battle with cancer, said his son, Charles Hawes, of St. Albans.
Known as Chet, Chester Hawes began his career at the Daily Mail in March of 1950 and retired July 1, 1993. History was recorded through the lens of his camera as he performed his job with skill, integrity and compassion.
“Chet was a fine photographer,” said Nanya Friend, former editor and publisher.
“He covered many incidents from small features to national stories. He covered mining disasters and presidential visits. I remember the Willow Island disaster when scaffolding around a cooling tower collapsed and more than 50 workers were killed. Media flocked to the scene. The national media was aggressive. Grieving families were distraught. Chet stood behind a tree with a telephoto lens and respectfully did his job.”
Those who worked with him over the years describe Hawes as a humble man dedicated to his job…