Colonel John Alvin Haas, U.S. Army (Retired)


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.

6 Condolences

  1. Gloria Lercher and the Winslow Hendrich Family on January 10, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    Johnny was always such a great guy. We all loved him and were so proud of him. He was the Patriarch of all the Cousins. We’ll never forgot that he drove for two days to attend our Parent’s 60th Wedding Anniversary Party.

    Sylvia and the Boys, we’re praying that God will comfort you and give you peace.

  2. Larry Stones on January 11, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    John was a good friend and a remarkable person. His life is an asset to all who new him. You set the bar high!

  3. Dave Ramsey on January 11, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    A great man who left his mark. A man of integrity and unquestionable character. A Godly man, a family man, and a man who left a void. He served his country with honor. If you want to know the definition of the word man, it should simply say, John Haas. I know he heard these words on Saturday January 7 from Christ Himself, “Well done thy good and faithful servant”. It doesn’t get any better than that! We pray for God’s peace over the family.

  4. Steve Cretsinger on January 12, 2017 at 2:07 am

    Sylvia, and boys

    I can’t begin to express my sympathy. John was an exemplary example of everything a Christian man should be. He was a loving husband and father, and I can only imagine his delight in his grandchildren. He served his God, his family, and his country with honor, and integrity. He was held in the highest esteem by all who knew him. He most certainly left his mark on the lives of all he touched. As wonderful as Heaven is, it is most assuredly that much better now. Our hearts are heavy with void his passing has left, but we will be reunited on that day of days. May God bless and keep you all. You are all in my prayers.

  5. Lenny & Linda Lottig on January 14, 2017 at 7:05 am

    We were blessed to have met John and spend a few wonderful days with him and his family during Holly and Joel’s wedding. In those few short days we quickly realized that John truely was a great man. His heart was gentle and his words were kind, filled with love and compassion. His footprint on this world continues in his boys and all the lives he touched while he was on this earth.
    Sylvia, our love and prayers are with you as you continue on life’s journey. John’s greatest accomplishments in life were you as his wife and the blessing of his children. You are such a strong lady that we know you will find strenght to press forward and work through the loss of your companion.

  6. Ilene (Ryser) Roy on January 24, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    While in college, John, sometimes know as “The Judge”, was always full of life and enjoyed every minute of it. I appreciate hearing more about John’s life through this site.
    Sylvia, may you and your sons, as well as Richard and Bill, be comforted by God through this difficult time. The Haas family will always hold a special place in my heart.

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