Robert A. “Bob” Haas, born Feb. 8, 1945, age 78, passed away on June 16, 2023, at Serenity House in Santa Barbara. For the last year of his life Bob bravely fought a very aggressive form of lymphoma.
Bob grew up in Racine, Wisconsin, on the shores of Lake Michigan, where he spent many happy and busy days with his sister and two brothers. He was active in the Boy Scouts and was very proud that he became an Eagle Scout at the young age of 12.
Bob attended St. Patrick’s Elementary School and St. Catherine’s High School in Racine. He then progressed to St. Mary’s College in Winona, Minnesota, where he spent two years studying physics. From there, he transferred to the University of Wisconsin, Madison, to study math and computer science.
It was at the University of Wisconsin that he met his wife of 54 years, Jane Barker Haas. Bob graduated in 1968 with a degree in computer science.
Soon after graduating, Bob began his long career with General Motors, working at its AC Electronics division in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In 1972, he accepted an offer to transfer to Delco Electronics in Santa Barbara. There he worked as a software engineer on NASA’s Apollo program. During this time, he also completed a master’s degree in computer science at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Later in life, after retiring, Bob continued his lifelong love of learning by taking classes in astronomy and geology at Santa Barbara City College.
Family was very important to Bob. He was always very supportive of his two sons Eric and Adam as they pursued their interests. Later, he became a devoted grandfather who provided much amusement for his three young grandchildren.
Also important to Bob was nature, and he was an avid outdoorsman. He liked fishing and backpacking, but he was most passionate about rock climbing. Some of his favorite places to climb included Yosemite Valley and Joshua Tree.
Having grown up ice skating outdoors in the Wisconsin winters, Bob took up the sport of ice hockey at the age of 74. He played in an adult hockey league at the local rink, Ice in Paradise. There, he was given an award for being the most improved player for the summer of 2019.
During Bob’s battle with his illness, he always kept his sense of humor, entertaining family, friends, and hospital personnel to the end. This was a testament to his strength, courage, and lively spirit.
Bob is survived by his wife Jane; his sons Adam of Santa Barbara, and Eric (Diana) and grandchildren Niko, Logan and Kristinia of Western Springs, Ilinois. He is also survived by his sister Nancy (Ed) of Sullivan, Wisconsin; brother Michael of Napa, California, and brother Jim (Claudia) of San Francisco, California.
Bob is preceded in death by his father Norbert H. Haas; mother Marguerite W. Haas, and sister-in-law Eileen Hunt of Napa.
A memorial service for Bob will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19 at the Unitarian Church, 1535 Santa Barbara St, Santa Barbara. Following the service there will be a reception in the church’s courtyard.
In lieu of flowers you can donate in memory of Bob Haas to support his favorite charity, Direct Relief. You may wish to designate your contribution for the Ukraine crisis as Bob did.