Robert L. "Bob" Hauss, of Athens, passed away peacefully on April 23, 2013, after a brief illness. He was 82 years old.
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Bob was born in Fairdale, Ky., on November 3, 1930, during the Great Depression. He and his family attended St. Mark's Lutheran Church, in Louisville, Ky. Bob graduated as valedictorian of his class at Fairdale High School, and from there went on to college. He married Mae Ann Shuck, of Louisville, and they had two children: Stephen and Susan.
Bob dedicated his life to the service of others. He obtained a Master of Divinity degree from Wittenburg University, in Springfield, Ohio, and became a Lutheran minister. He was the first pastor of St. Stephen's Lutheran Church, in Fern Creek, Ky., in 1959, holding services in the fire station and helping get the church building planned and built.
He and his family moved to Quincy, Ill., in 1961, where Bob became the first pastor of the newly formed Christ Lutheran Church. He served the congregation and led planning and construction of the church building, which was completed in 1965.
In 1966, Bob and his family moved to Atlanta, where Bob worked as a chaplain at Grady Memorial Hospital. He became the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, in Athens, in 1967. The first sanctuary was next to the Beechwood bowling alley. Bob served the congregation and began planning for the funding and design of the current sanctuary, further south on Alps Road.
After retiring from the ministry, Bob obtained a master's degree in social work from the University of Georgia and worked in the Georgia state mental health system, first in the clinic at Athens Regional Medical Center, then as director of the Jackson County Mental Health facility, in Jefferson. He finished his career as director of the day treatment center, in Winder, from which he retired in 1995.
Bob married Laurie E. West in 1996, and they enjoyed retirement together in Athens, tending to their yard and feeding the rabbits and birds and battling the squirrels with love and laughter.
Bob is survived by his wife, Laurie Hauss; children, Stephen Hauss and Susan Earnest; and grandchildren, Benjamin and Summer Earnest.
A memorial service with a reception to follow will be held at 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, at St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church, in Athens.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church, 3195 Barnett Shoals Rd., Athens, GA 30605 – (706) 546-7553.
Bridges Funeral Home, of Athens, is in charge of the arrangements.
Bridges Funeral Home, Inc.
3035 Atlanta Highway Athens, GA 30606
Published in Athens Banner-Herald on Apr. 26, 2013