His large hands could fashion a simple block of wood into the familiar shape of an eagle.

Thomas Lynn Hawthorne Sr., 52, died as he lived – helping others. A son said the Choctaw resident was at the Social Security office in the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building when the bomb exploded on the morning of April 19. Hawthorne Sr. was trying to help a retired United Rubber Workers union member who had moved to Oklahoma clear up a problem with the retiree’s federal benefits, family said. “In a way, that made it easier,” Thomas Hawthorne Jr. said, “because if he had to die now, at least he died as he lived.”

Field of Empty Chairs

Thomas Lynn Hawthorne Sr.
Thomas Lynn Hawthorne Sr.
Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building
1st Floor
Social Security Administration

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