Edward John Haag(1917 - 2013)

Edward John Haag February 25, 1917 - Febraury 22, 2013 Edward John Haag was born on February 25, 1917 in Rio Bravo, CA to James Edward and Mary Catherine (Kennedy) Haag, a Kern County pioneer farm family who settled in Rio Bravo (west of Bakersfield) on June 10, 1910. Edward was the second youngest of five children - three girls and two boys. Edward graduated from Poplar School in 1932, and graduated from Bakersfield High School (formerly Kern Union High School) in 1935. He also attended agricultural classes at Bakersfield College. Growing up on the family farm required that Edward assume responsibilities at an early age doing chores and milking cows. In 1937, Edward and his father formed a farming partnership, Haag & Son. On February 21, 1941, the United States Army drafted Edward, whereupon he attended basic training at Fort Ord, CA, and later served as a Technical Sergeant with the 54th Signal Battalion in Hawaii constructing 46 miles of telecommunications lines. On July 23, 1943, he was honorably discharged in order to attend Officers Candidate School at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. He then reentered active duty as an officer on July 24, 1943. He served in England, Normandy, France, Central Europe and the Rhineland, and was awarded the European African Middle Eastern and Asiatic Pacific Theater Service Medals. On December 21, 1945, he was honorably discharged as a First Lieutenant whereupon he returned to farming. Edward remained in the Army Reserves and was recalled to active duty to serve in Germany during the Korean War from June 14, 1951 to November 6, 1952. Upon being honorably discharged from the United States Army, he again returned to farming. Edward met the love of his life, Maria Ritzmann, at the First Presbyterian Church's Geneva Fellowship function. They announced their engagement at the Walter Haag's 1962 Christmas Dinner at Rio Bravo. On March 16, 1963, they married at the First Presbyterian Church in Bakersfield, CA. Their only son, James Henry, was born on March 24, 1964 and their only daughter, Kim Susanna, was born on March 18, 1966. Ed and his wife were very active members of the Rio Bravo-Greeley Community Club, Shafter High School Patrons, and Bakersfield College Booster Band Club. Their commitment to their children and to each other was the hallmark of their long and loving relationship. The proudest moments of their lives was when their son, James, graduated from McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, in 1989 and their daughter, Kim, graduated from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1993. Edward loved and took pride in farming, specifically alfalfa, cotton, wheat and barley. For ten years, he grew pumpkins for Rio Bravo-Greeley students from Kindergarten to second grade so they could enjoy free pumpkins on Halloween. Edward served as a member of the Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District Board for 24 years. He was appointed and later elected as a trustee on the Rio Bravo-Greeley School Board between 1979 and 1981. He was a member of the Farmers Cooperative Gin for 45 years, a former member of the Richland Cooperative Gin, a member of the Kern County Farm Bureau since 1935, and a member of the First Presbyterian Church where he served as usher for many years. He was a supporter and Bakersfield College football season ticket holder since 1948. When a friend needed blood in 1955, Edward became a regular blood donor at Houchin Community Blood Bank. In 1975, he became Kern County's first 10 gallon blood donor. In 1999 he became Kern County's first 24 gallon blood donor and was inducted into Baxter Healthcare's Whole Blood Hall of Fame. During his lifetime, Edward donated 27 gallons of blood. Edward felt he had been blessed to have been able to donate blood for so many years. In 1983, Edward retired from farming and leased his land. In 2001, Edward and Maria sold the family farm and built a new home at North Meadow in Bakersfield. Edward had many talents - he built two beautiful homes on his farm and enjoyed completing various woodworking projects. With his wife, he shared the joy of visiting families and travelling to many countries. Edward was preceded in death by his parents, James and Mary Haag, his brother, William Haag, and his sisters, Cecelia Runyon, Myrtle Cason, and May McBride. He is survived by his loving wife, Maria, of 49 years, his son, James Henry Haag and daughter-in-law, Madeline Andrea Quin, of San Diego, his daughter, Kim Susanna Kinderman and son-in-law, William Kinderman, and ten grandchildren, Annie, Lydia, Elijah, Esther, Ezekiel, Dorea, Magdalena, Julia, Joanna, and Isaiah of Sioux Falls, SD. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 2, 2013, at First Presbyterian Church, 1705 17th Street, Bakersfield, CA 93301, at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, if you would like to make a donation in memory of Edward and are able to do so, please donate blood at the Houchin Community Blood Bank or make a donation to that organization or to the First Presbyterian Church. DOUGHTY-CALHOUN-O'MEARA www.bakersfield.com/obits

Published in Bakersfield Californian on Feb. 27, 2013