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Harold John Haering Sr.

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Harold John Haering Sr. Obituary
HAERING, HAROLD JOHN SR., 83, former State Senator Haering, died peacefully of heart failure on May 5, 2014 at St. Athanasius Church.

Raised in Jefferson County, and other than leaving for high school and college, Harold never lived further than three miles away from the Newburg Dairy Farm owned and operated by his parents, Joseph Henry and Catherine Arnold Haering at Black Mud Lane and Old Shepherdsville Road in Newburg, where he grew up. Following General Electric purchase of the farm in the early 1950s for it's Appliance Park, Joseph and Catherine moved to the "Cedar Valley" farm in Highview.

Harold married Elizabeth Anne Kuhn August 8, 1953. They were married 60 years.

Harold attended the two room "Newburg School" on Old Shepherdsville Road for his first grade. Harold then went to other parochial elementary schools, including Holy Name, St. Agnes and St. Bartholomew. It was at St. Bartholomew where Harold met Betty "Pickle" Kuhn, whose family moved to Highview out of Louisville during Second World War. Harold went one year to Maryknoll Seminary High School in Akron, OH and then three years to St. Joseph Prep in Bardstown, KY. Harold was a graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH, with a BA in history.

Following school and marriage in 1953, Harold taught elementary school at St. Rita's in Okolona for two years. He then got involved in real estate and home building. Harold was an original member both of the Louisville Homebuilders Association and Louisville Real Estate Association, and served in various capacities in each.

Harold developed "Summit Estates" subdivision on part of the Cedar Valley Farm, where he and his wife lived for over 55 years. Later he developed Nottingham Hills on a former dairy farm purchased from his brother-in-law, William Downs.

Harold was a founding parishioner of St. Athanasius Church. He was an original Lector and Eucharistic Minister. There he was involved in training altar boys and teaching Latin in the "Knights of the Altar" association. Harold also coached little league baseball at St. Athanasius as well as being involved in other church activities.

Harold was actively involved in politics from the early 1960s in southern Jefferson County. He was elected to the Kentucky State House as State Representative and was elected for three terms. He was elected to the Kentucky State Senate in 1983, where he served in the Senate until 1988. Harold served on various committees, particularly Transportation and Agriculture. It was the issue of poor roads in a quickly growing southern Jefferson County, in particular Okolona, Highview,Newburg and Fern Creek, that initially involved Harold in state politics. In the legislature Harold was a champion for Right to Life and other pro-life issues.

Harold enjoyed maintaining the Cedar Valley Farm and gardening. Long before organic farming came into vogue, Harold practiced organic farming from the 1950s, eschewing sprays; he organized composting in his gardens and orchard. Harold had all of his children actively involved in farm activities, with assigned projects and animals to each child. Harold was a history buff and belonged to the Filson Historical Society. He enjoyed researching family genealogy, working on finding records of the Haerings' and Arnolds' activities in Kentucky and Switzerland. He even assisted the parish church in Simplondorf Switzerland, editing the parish records to record that Anton Arnold immigrated to Kentucky.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph Henry and Catherine Barbara Arnold Haering; brother, Joseph Henry Haering Jr.; sister, Mildred Downs; and a child, Thomas Edward Hearing who died at childbirth.

In addition to being survived by his wife, Harold leaves children, Harold "Hal" John Haering Jr., Phoenix, AZ, Michael "Mike" Gerard Haering (Kim), Louisville, Elizabeth "Beth" McKenzie (Jim), Louisville, Philip Joseph Haering, Louisville, and Stephen Anthony Haering, Alexandria, VA; sisters, Audry Lannert, Louisville and Ruth Anne Smith, Greensboro, NC; grandchildren, Ashley, Megan, Nick, Abbi and Katy Haering, David, Joseph and Claire McKenzie and Anna Gamble; and great grandchildren, Khloe and Allyson Gamble.

Harold lived his life in love for his Church and Kentucky, and leaves a legacy of public service and living one's faith.

Funeral Mass is 1 p.m. Friday at St. Athanasius Catholic Church, 5915 Outer Loop with burial in Calvary Cemetery. Visitation is 3-7 p.m. Thursday at Fern Creek Funeral Home, 5406 Bardstown Road and 11 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Friday at the church.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Kentucky Right to Life Association, 134 Breckinridge Lane, Louisville, KY 40207 or the Autism Society of Kentuckiana, P.O. Box 21895, Louisville, KY 40221-0895.

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Published in The Courier-Journal from May 7 to May 8, 2014
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