William Henry Haaga died peacefully on April 29, 2019, at his home in League City, Texas, with his wife Lynette and family by his side. He spent many years living with the challenges of Lewy Body Dementia, and met each day with quiet strength and a positive outlook. Bill was 76 years old. A Celebration of Life Service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 18 at Moody Methodist Church, 2803 53rd Street, Galveston, Texas, with Rev. Dr. Jerry Neff officiating. Memorials may be made to Lewy Body Dementia Association at lbda.org or the Galveston Symphony Orchestra.
Bill was born and raised in Geneseo. He graduated from Geneseo High School in 1960, and was part of Band, Athenian Club, Chorus, Boys State, Senior Play, and College Club. Bill played the tenor saxophone, was a member of De Molay, and attended Grace United Methodist Church. His first jobs were working alongside his dad at Hammond-Henry Hospital, and selling furniture at Klavohn’s. He and his dad took special trips to see their Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers play. Right after high school, Bill and two friends took an adventurous road trip to the west coast and back, leaving them with plenty of great stories to tell.
Bill graduated from DeVry Technical Institute in Chicago in 1961. His career and raising a family both started in Illinois and then brought him to the Houston area. He worked at Maxwell House Coffee for 27 years, starting out as an electrician and working his way up to department manager over Cappio production. Bill took early retirement in 1996 when he was only 53.
Bill loved to travel and when he retired, he and Lynette took trips any chance they could. Some of the places they visited were Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Canada, Thailand, Mexico’s Copper Canyon, Turkey, the Caribbean, and South America. They traveled around the US too, with trips to New York, Alaska, New Orleans, Washington DC, Seattle, Georgia, New Mexico, Florida, and Minnesota. Cruises were always his favorite. He wanted to have those travel experiences to enjoy looking back on later in life instead of just the brochures for places he wished he would have gone, and it turned out just the way he wanted.
There wasn’t any handyman job that Bill couldn’t do around the house, and he took a part-time retirement job at Home Depot for many years to share that talent helping other people with their home projects.
Long-time residents of Galveston, Bill and Lynette moved to the mainland just before Hurricane Harvey. Bill was a member of the East End Historical District Association, Galveston Historical Foundation, The Laffite Society, and Moody Methodist Church, and was an enthusiastic volunteer especially in the East End. He loved Mardi Gras, the Lone Star Rally, and getting together with friends and neighbors.
Bill’s passion in life was always cars. Starting with his high school ’57 Chevy, he just loved everything car-related, especially working on engines and taking his cars out on the road. His favorite was his ‘68 Corvette convertible that he restored himself from the ground up, and he would love pointing out its 427 engine and tri-power Holley carburetor setup. Bill met Lynette (and her ’73 Mustang convertible) at a Friday evening car club Cruise Night at the old Prince’s Drive-In on South Main in Houston, and they had so many happy times together through the years going to car shows and car club events with their friends. The two always had a friendly on-going Chevy versus Ford rivalry between them. Bill was a member of Convertibles of Houston car club, 2-term President of Bayou City Cruisers car club, and a member of The International Show Car Association.
Bill was a calm, loving man who cared for his wife, family, and friends deeply. His two beloved Chartreux cats were already waiting for him in Heaven and probably didn’t waste a minute jumping back up in his lap.
He is survived by his wife of 30 years Lynette Amborn Haaga; son, Curtis Haaga; son, Randy Haaga and wife Maria; son, Michael Haaga and wife Carol; daughter, Michele Cholewinski Marousek and husband Steve; grandchildren, Steven Haaga, Elizabeth Cholewinski, Sarah Cholewinski, David Cholewinski Jr., Joe Haaga, and Joanna Rogers; cousin Don Haaga and wife Monica Merkins, of Sausalito Calif.; nieces, Jennifer Krause, Kaylen Whetstone, and Ella Amborn; nephews Brian Krause and Lucas Amborn; his very dear gray cat Teacup; and many caring friends and relatives. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, William Wendelin Haaga and Irene Tomlinson Haaga; infant sisters Mary Ann and Jean Irene; and grandson Paul Schrum.
There’s no way to give enough thanks for all the special people who were so devoted to helping us take care of Bill - Dr. Matthew Dacso, Dr. Leanne Burnett, Nurse Cheryl Bruno, Sandra Sands-Arnaez, TTI Home Health Care, Libbie’s Place, and Anchor Hospice. You made all the difference in the world for him and for us.