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Charles N. Haas

Company C-2

1 Jan 1938 - 28 Jun 2009

Place of Death: Littleton, CO

Interment: Littleton, CO

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 Haas.

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, CO
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 Alabama.

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.

His 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 President.

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