James Haas, age 95 of Perry, passed away on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 at the Perry Lutheran Home in Perry, Iowa. Memorial services will be held on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 at 11 a.m. at the First Christian Church located at 1224 Lucinda St., Perry, Iowa 50220. Visitation will be on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017 from 1-7:30 p.m. with family present from 5-7:30 p.m. at the Carris Family Funeral Home in Perry. A private family graveside service will take place in the Violet Hill Cemetery at Perry. Memorials will be given to the Alzheimer’s Association, 1730 28th St, West Des Moines, Iowa 50266 or the First Christian Church and may be left at the Carris Family Funeral Home. Online condolences may be sent at www.carrisfuneralhome.com.
James Richard Haas was born on Jan. 10, 1922 in Perry, Iowa. He was the only child of Mayme and Harold Haas. He attended school in Perry and graduated with the class of 1940. While in school he played football and basketball. He was a member of the 1936 Iowa state champions in football. Since then sports were an important part of his life, especially golf and Hawkeye sports, although sadly he never made a putt in his lifetime. After attending the University of Iowa for a year, World War II started, and he joined the Army Air Corps. He was a bombardier, in the 8th Air Force with the 398 Bomb group, 603 Squadron from the fall of 1942- June of 1945. He was stationed at Nuthamstead, England and flew 36 missions over Europe. He received the Purple Heart after being critically wounded. He also was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Victory Medal, Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters, and the European Theatre Award.
He was married to Diana Foster on March 6, 1945 while home on leave. The couple made their home in Santa Monica, Cal. until the war was over.
Jim and Diana returned to Perry where Jim worked 40 years as Senior Vice President and trust officer at the Perry State Bank. Since he was a banker, he was asked to be treasurer of many local organizations. These included the Salvation Army, Perry Library Foundation, and the Perry School Board. Jim was very civic minded and gave many hours to local organizations. He was a member of the American Legion and served by speaking to area high schools about World War II and participating on panels at Veterans Day. He served as president of the Chamber of Commerce, Perry Jaycees, and Perry Golf and Country Club, and Exalted Ruler of the Elks. He was honored by many with the Kiwanis Business Man of the Year Award, the Perry Jaycees Distinguished Service Award, and recently was honored by the Perry Historical Preservation Commission who valued his volunteerism and devotion to the community.
Jim was very devoted to his church, The First Christian Church. During the War, he promised God that if he returned safely, he would serve him at the church. He did so as an elder and trustee, Chairman of the Board, and board member many times.
Family and friends were very important to Jim. After Diana was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, he faithfully took care of her, and when she needed more care, he visited her at 3:30 each day for three years and stayed through dinner until she went to bed. Their daughter Nancy and son Marty were very much a part of Jim’s life. They golfed together, took vacations to Lake Okoboji, Texas and Minnesota, and Sunday rides in the car. He attended many Little League games, sporting events, dance recitals, and choir concerts. Jim especially enjoyed his Coffee group who met at Perry Perks each morning where they were treated well by Teri and solved the problems of the world.
Jim’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the apple of his eye. Papa was very much loved by them. They called him often and visited him. Also he was devoted to the family pets: Spot, Sam and Gerald.
Jim lived a full, active life for 95 years, dying at the Lutheran Home on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2017. Some of the tributes which describe Jim include:“his years of service to the community,” “he was an example of how we should lead our life,” “ patient and kind,” “what a treasure,” “beloved by many,” “privilege to know him,” “classy,” “always friendly to me.”
Survivors include daughter, Nancy (Thomas) Gilman of Las Vegas, Nev., son Marty Haas of Johnston, Iowa, Grandchildren: Kate (Jesse Cox) Gilman of Las Vegas, Nev., Timothy (Jeflyn) Gilman of Bondurant, Iowa, Matthew Haas of Keene, N.H., Gregory (Amanda) Gilman of Las Vegas, Nev., Steven Haas of Keene, N.H., and Brian Haas of Pine Ridge, N.J. Great-grandchildren: Grace Gilman of Las Vegas, Nev., Lennon Gilman of Bondurant, Iowa and Oliver Gilman of Las Vegas, Nev.
Six stepgrandchildren: Macy, Ashlynn, Cameron, Malcolm, Abby and Lily. Two nephews, Jeffrey (Jan) Foster of Carrollton, Texas, and John (Margo) Foster of Woodstock, Ga. And one niece, Julie Gossett of Lake Kiowa, Texas and special friend, Wilma Collins of Perry, Iowa.