It is with great regret and sorrow that we must
inform you of the death of our classmate, Charlie Haas, on June 28, 2009 due to
complications from cancer. Charlie is survived by his wife, Carolyn; a
daughter, Deborah Morrell of Los Angeles; two sons, Jon of Telluride, CO, and
Joel of Denver; and three grandchildren, Samantha Morrell, and Jane and Lance
A private memorial service was held on
Wednesday, July 1 at Olinger Chapel Hill Mortuary in Littleton, CO. Interment
was on July 1 at Olinger Chapel Hill Cemetery in Littleton, CO.
Condolences may be sent to Carolyn at 5941 Brook
Valley Way, Littleton, CO 80121.
Contributions in memory of Charlie may be made
to the American Cancer Society.
Well done, Charlie. Be thou at peace.
Class Memorial Pages\C-2 Charlie Haas.pdf
Taps Memorial Article:
Charles N. Haas 1961
Cullum No. 23750-1961 | June 28, 2009 | Died in Centennial,
Interred in Olinger Chapel Hill Cemetery, Centennial, CO
In July 1957, Life magazine wrote a long article with many pictures about “Beast
Barracks.” Six plebes were featured in the article, one being Charles Nelson
Haas, with full-page pictures of them in shower formation (without smiles) and
in full dress gray uniform (without smiles). Charlie was born in Pennsylvania,
where his father was on active duty in the Army. The family moved to Georgia,
where his father worked in the post exchange system after retirement, and
Charlie knew early that he wanted to be an Army officer. After high school
graduation, he attended Georgia Tech University and Marion Military Institute in
Charlie entered West
Point on July 2, 1957, and after “Beast” he was assigned to Company C-2. During
the four years until graduation on June 7, 1961, he was subject to occasional
hazing by the academic departments but always remained the victor. He ran track
the first year and later joined the French Club and Ski Club. He always had a
friendly smile for all, an easy manner, sharp wit, and maintained his strong
determination. During his First Class year, he was a member of the Brigade Color
Guard, marching in numerous parades, for ceremonies, and at the inauguration
parade for President Kennedy.
first assignment after graduation as an Infantry officer was to the basic course
at Fort Benning, GA, with an additional four weeks of Airborne School and nine
weeks of Ranger School. He was then assigned to the 28th Infantry, followed by
an assignment in Munich, Germany in the 21st Infantry. His unit served as border
patrol between West and East Germany during the Cold War. He once led a vehicle
conveyance through East Germany to Check Point Charlie in Berlin. While in
Germany he met Carolyn Gang, a schoolteacher from California who was teaching in
the military school. His tour in Germany was curtailed in order to attend
Special Forces training at Fort Bragg, NC on his way to Vietnam. In June 1965 he
and Carolyn were married. He then served in the 5th Special Forces Group in
Vietnam, receiving two Bronze Stars and the Combat Infantry award. Charlie was
assigned to staff and faculty in the Infantry School at Fort Benning. He wanted
to become a lawyer and to continue to serve as an Army lawyer, but that option
was not available. Thus, he resigned as a major in 1968 and entered the
University of Colorado School of Law. Charlie and Carolyn had three children:
Deborah Ann, Jon, and Joel; and three grandchildren: Samantha, Jane, and Lance.
His children were active in soccer, and he coached them in recreational leagues
and was proud to see them play soccer in high school. The family enjoyed the
outdoors with skiing and hiking. Colorado was the perfect home for a boy from
Georgia and a girl from California to raise a family.
After receiving his law degree, he
worked for an oil and gas company in Denver. He later was introduced by
classmate Ed Jones to his future boss, Neal Blue, who was the CEO and the major
shareholder for a group of family-owned companies in diverse industries. When
Charlie was hired by Neal Blue in late 1970s there were 35 employees in the
company, and by 2008 the number had increased to 4,500. Charlie was a leading
part of that growth, along with Ed Jones and Neal Blue. In 1986 Neal Blue
acquired General Atomics in San Diego, and he and Ed Jones, together with their
families, moved to San Diego, while Charlie remained in Denver as the manager
and director of several companies and operations that reported to the Denver
office. The companies functioned in oil and gas production, real estate, and air
base operations. Under his command were aircraft fixed base operations at
Denver’s Centennial Airport, Colorado Springs Airport, Salt Lake City Airport
and Fort Collins Airport. He was a significant participant and contributor to
the acquisitions of Oceanic Exploration Company and Tenneco Oil of Canada.
Subsequent to the acquisition of Oceanic Exploration, Charlie served as its
Charlie truly was a
leader of character in the finest tradition of West Point. He served with
distinction for his business, his family, and his country.
Charlie had survived cancer twice but was unable to survive
a third cancer. Sadly, on June 28, 2009 at the age of 71 his life was ended.
— Carolyn Haas and classmates