The late Jim Haas will be honored at the annual Memorial Golf Tournament that will be held on Sunday, July 8, at the Perry Golf & Country Club. Each year the club honors the memory of a member who made a significant impact on the club and community. Jim Haas died on Nov. 11, 2017.
Sports were always a big part of Jim’s life. A Perry High School Graduate in 1940, Jim played football and basketball. He was a member of the 1936 State Championship football team at Perry H.S. Later in life, golf and following Hawkeye sports teams occupied his sporting interests.
After attending the University of Iowa for a year following his high school graduation, Jim 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 until June of 1945. He flew 36 missions over Europe and he received the Purple Heart for 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.
Jim married Diana Foster in March of 1945 while home on leave. Jim and Diana returned to Perry where Jim served as Senior Vice President and Trust Officer for the Perry State Bank for 40 years. Jim and Diana raised two children in Perry, son Marty and daughter Nancy. Since he was a banker, he was asked to be the treasurer for many fine organizations that he joined. These included the Salvation Army, Perry Library Foundation and the Perry School Board. Jim was very civic minded and gave many hours to the American Legion and was a frequent guest speaker to high schools regarding World War II. Jim served as President of the Perry Jaycees, the Chamber of Commerce and Perry Golf & Country Club.
Jim was also a very devoted Christian and served the First Christian Church as an Elder, Chaired the Board and was a Trustee. Jim had made a promise to God that if he returned home safely from the war, he would serve the Lord. Jim kept his word and was a strong Christian his entire life.
Jim and Diana’s children, Marty and Nancy, were very much a part of Jim’s life. Life was busy as he was very involved in his children’s activities. In later years, Jim attended many of his grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s activities, whether it was a sports team contest, a music concert, or a dance recital. Jim’s devotion to his ailing wife, who had Alzheimer’s Disease and preceded him in death, was a testament to the term, “in sickness and in health.” Jim took care of her at home for several years before she needed additional care and became a nursing home resident. For over three years, Jim visited her every day for several hours before God called her home.
Besides being a talented golfer and President of the Country Club Board for several years, Jim also served the club in other ways. Late in life, Jim was the starter for Tuesday and Thursday night golf leagues at Perry Golf & Country Club and also helped out as a starter for the annual O’Connor Golf Tournament. Frequently, Jim and his friends could be found at the club enjoying a meal during Friday night dining at the Perry Golf & Country Club.
In short, Jim Haas left quite a legacy for both the community of Perry and for Perry Golf & Country Club. The Memorial Tournament is an individual stroke play event with the top 12 and ties playing an additional nine holes for the Championship. All other players will be flighted for their 18 holes scores. Nick Luett is the 3-time defending champion of this event.
Any individual who would like to play in this year’s tournament should contact the clubhouse as soon as possible to enter (465-3852).