Haas, John Eugene
10/25/1926 - 6/1/2021
Gene Haas passed away peacefully on June 1, 2021 with his family at his side. He completed his final pickleball game just two weeks before his death. Gene lived life to its fullest, true to his adage that "anything in life worth doing, is worth overdoing." He dabbled heavily in corny humor and once declared that his secret to longevity was having good "Genes."
Gene was born in Lancaster, PA and grew up in the Brethen in Christ Church, a Mennonite sect. He was drafted in 1945, and due to his pacifist religion entered as a Conscientious Objector who served under civilian direction, fighting forest fires and performing other public service work.
Gene received a Master's degree from UCLA and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in Sociology. He was a tenured Sociology Professor at Ohio State and later the University of Colorado, Boulder. He studied human response to natural disasters and travelled the world following major disasters including the 1964 Alaskan earthquake. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on The Alaskan Earthquake, gave testimony before Congress, and was honored at the White House during the Johnson administration. He authored or co-authored eight books in his field.
Gene found his favorite hobbies later in life following his family's move to Colorado. He became an accomplished tennis player and skier. Not satisfied with simple recreation, he resolved to ski all 24 Colorado ski areas in his 70th year and again in his 80th. When age began to limit his tennis abilities, he switched to pickleball and won the Rocky Mountain Senior Games Doubles 90+ division.
In addition to tending to his beautiful roses, Gene never missed a chance to support his daughters and grandchildren. He travelled in his RV to countless tennis tournaments and horse shows, ready at a moment's notice to applaud their success and snap too many photos. His energy, his vibrant and upbeat personality, and love for his family will be greatly missed. Gene is survived by his wife, Genevieve Thompson, daughters Cynthia Savage (Chris Wallwork) and Mari Perczak (Greg), grandchildren Erin Perczak (Kelly), Anna Perczak (Steve Mendelsohn) and Leah Perczak (Jason Ellinwood), Jackson and Thomas Savage, and five great grandchildren.
A celebration of Gene's life will be held on July 10, 2021 at 2:00 pm at Gene and Gen's Parker home. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made in Gene's name to Super Senior International Pickleball Association at 2395 Delaware Ave. #45, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. For more information about Gene or the Celebration of Life go to [email protected]
Published by Denver Post from Jun. 8 to Jun. 13, 2021.