Remembering ‘Rock Chuck,’ chairman of Pete Lien & Sons

By |  April 9, 2018
Chuck Lien


Chuck Lien, the chairman of the board at Pete Lien & Sons who built his company into one of the nation’s top aggregate producers, died April 7. He was 93.

Lovingly known as “Rock Chuck,” Lien started Pete Lien & Sons in 1944 with his father and brother near Rapid City, South Dakota. He led the growth of the company over much of its 75-year history.

Today, the company employs hundreds of people across multiple sites in South Dakota, Wyoming and Colorado.

After serving in World War II, Lien joined his father in the quarry. Along with his father and brother, Lien did not collect a paycheck during the first five years of the business, instead taking just enough so he and his family could survive and the business could get off its feet. Pete Lien & Sons eventually did thrive, and a key to its success over many years was Lien’s belief in reinvestment.

Lien’s company is positioned to thrive for years to come, too, because of his belief in reinvestment. He and his wife Barb invested their family in the business, as well.

“We are a family-owned business and we think long term,” Chuck said back in 2013. “We’re in our third and fourth generations now, and they’re already planning for the fifth and sixth generations. They’re doing a better job of running the company than I ever did.”

Lien, a 2014 Pit & Quarry Hall of Fame inductee who also served in the Korean War, was passionate about his work, putting in six-day workweeks until his final days.

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About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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