Wednesday, January 11, 2017


Colonel John Alvin Haas
Colonel John Alvin Haas, U.S. Army (Retired), age 69, passed away January 7, 2017 at the Melech Hospice House in Tampa, Florida.

John married Sylvia Breithaupt of Lawrence, KS on July 28, 1972.  They were married 43 years and lived in Lawrence until 1985. John’s life was blessed with three Sons and six Grandchildren. He is survived by his wife, Sylvia, of Tampa, FL/Los Angeles, CA; his sons, Jeremy Haas, two grandchildren, Allison (9) and Andrew (5) of Reston, VA; Justin Haas and his wife, Ashley, four grandchildren, Jaelyn (9), Ashtin (7), Blake (5) and Kyler (4) of Tampa, FL; and Joel Haas and his wife, Holly, of Alexandria, VA; two brothers, Richard Haas of Fairplay, MO and Bill Haas and his wife, Nita, of Little Rock, AR.  John’s Lawrence family includes brothers-in-law Glenn Breithaupt, Doug Breithaupt (deceased), Kenny Breithaupt and Jeri Breithaupt and sister-in-law Nancy (Breithaupt) Brenn.

John was born March 5, 1947 in Smith Center, KS to Alvin and Helen Haas.  He attended Lebanon High School and upon graduation in 1965, attended Kansas State University, majoring in Mathematics and participating in Army ROTC. It was while John was stationed at Ft. Riley, KS that John and Sylvia first met at church. The day after John’s graduation, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army and served 2.5 years including a tour in Vietnam.  Upon returning from his Vietnam deployment, he left active duty and elected to stay in the Army Reserves.  For 12 years, John and his family lived in Lawrence where he completed military tours to stay current on military education. While living in Lawrence, John worked as an insurance agent for Reserve Life Insurance and also started an insurance division for Stephens Real Estate. He also volunteered as an usher for University of Kansas home sporting events.

In November 1984, John returned to the active Army full-time and served in numerous capacities including Associate Professor ROTC, Delta State University in Cleveland, MS; Army Personnel Center in St. Louis, MO; Command & Staff College as well as the Center for Army Leadership, Ft. Leavenworth, KS; Army Readiness program, Ft. Meade, MD; Inspector General at Los Alamitos Army Airfield, Los Alamitos, CA, and Director of Operations, Ft. McPherson, Atlanta, GA.

John completed 21 years active military service and in May 2001, retired honorably as a Colonel. He saw all three of his Sons enter military service. Between 2001 and 2010, he served tours as a government contractor in both Kuwait and Afghanistan.

John was an active member of the West Point Parents Club – Orange County CA for 19 years, serving as President from 2001 – 2003. He was a high school and college football and basketball official when he lived in Lawrence, St. Louis, and Cleveland, MS.  He also served as Executive Board Member of the Rancho Niguel Homeowner’s Association and he organized community gatherings for his Laguna Niguel, CA neighborhood.  John loved his church, serving as a Sunday School teacher and an active member wherever he lived.

Services for John will be at the Lawrence First Church of the Nazarene, 1470 N. 1000 Rd, Lawrence, KS on Wednesday, January 18, 2017.  The service will be at 3:00 with a visitation at 2:00.  Burial following the service at Worden Cemetery in Baldwin City, KS.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Operation Family Fund, c/o Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 West 13th St., Lawrence, KS 66044.
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