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Stuart Donald Thanig Jr.


Stuart, age 77 of Gold Canyon, Arizona quietly passed away Sunday October 23, 2022 with loved ones by his side.
“Stu” was born February 16,1945, in Mosinee, WI. He was preceded in death by his parents Stuart & Eleanora (Bittner)Thanig, his brother Richard Thanig and his favorite horse Rudy.
After graduating from Mosinee High School in 1963, Stu headed west to Hill Air Force base in Utah where he was trained in cryptology. As often as possible he returned to the Hill Aerospace Museum for a walk down memory lane.
Stu’s aerospace experience brought him to Phoenix where he was employed by Garrett Turbine Engine Company which later became Allied Signal. It was common knowledge that Stu still had his recess money from the 1st grade which allowed him to retire at the young age of 48.
Stu’s entire adult life was shaped by his passion for adventure and the great outdoors. Special lifetime highlights include skiing with Phoenix Ski Club, hiking up Piestewa Peak, biking throughout Sedona and Greer plus exploring many Grand Canyon trails. Herding cattle and mending fences at the Limestone Ranch in Coconino County provided him with numerous happy days.
1995 brought Stu to Gold Canyon at the base of his adored Superstition Mountains thus fulfilling his hiking and horseback riding dreams. He led the weekly MountainBrook Hiking Club for several years where they hiked scenic...sometimes scary...trails. Stu’s vast knowledge of the Superstitions came from hiking Siphon Draw Trail on the west end of the Superstitions to the east end’s Rogers Trough Trail plus every other trail in between. He also hiked up and down Humphrey’s Peak in Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon plus mountain trails in Utah, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, California and Canada.
Known as “The Mayor of Cloudview” Stu was famous for wearing his black shorts, olive green shirt, red bandana and his “Hello Kitty” cap or black hat, Stu enjoyed wishing everybody “Good Morning” and walking down to greet and groom his favorite horses. Rudy was his most favorite horse and they had many wonderful trail rides.
Whether you knew Stu for a short time or a long time, you knew he was a man who was the kindest soul to friends and strangers alike.
Survivors include; his wife of 34 years Linda Shank, daughter Kimberly Powell, stepson Ritch Shank, step-daughter Leigh Ann Mauger, grandsons Luke Shank, James Mauger, Jake Shank and Evan Powell and granddaughter Emma Leigh Mauger. Sisters Marguerite Abt and Cecile Thanig plus many many nieces and nephews living in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.
A private commemoration of “Stu’s Story” will be held in January.
Stu loved being part of Superstition Fire and Medical District’s extended family. Any donations in Stu’s memory should be mailed to Superstition Fire and Medical District per the address below:
Superstition Fire & Medical District
565 N. Idaho Road,
Apache Junction, AZ 85119
Attn: Roger Wood
Please note on the check “In Memory of Stuart Thanig” or attach a letter of instruction. SFMD does not have a website for donations.