In Loving Memory Of...
William Robert Haas, Sr.
Mr. William Robert 'Billy Bob' Haas, Sr., a well known resident of LaGrange and a retired airline pilot, died at 12:20 a.m. Monday, February 26, 2001, of an apparent heart attack at his residence in LaGrange. He was 72 years of age and died unexpectedly.
Visitation will be held from 5:00-9:00 p.m. on Wednesday at Memphis Funeral Home at 5599 Poplar. Funeral services are scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, at the Memphis Poplar Chapel with Rev. Timothy M. Carpenter, Pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Bolivar officiating. A eulogy was scheduled to be given by a longtime friend and retired Methodist Minister, Rev. Clarence Hare of Brownsville. Interment will be at 3:00 p.m. in the LaGrange Cemetery at LaGrange. Peebles Fayette County Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Mr. Haas was born on February 13, 1929, in Jackson, Tennessee, the son of the late Henry Dalton Haas, Sr. and Blanche Ophelia Barker Haas. He attended Jackson schools and after graduating from Tech High School in Memphis in 1948 he continued his education at Memphis State University. Mr. Haas served in the United States Marines and the United States Army in earlier years and was married July 20, 1961 to the former Ann George, a native of Booneville, Mississippi, who survives. Mr. Haas served as a commercial airline pilot for over thirty years and retired in September of 1988. He was a pilot for Southern Airways which later became Republic Airlinesand Northwest Airlines before his retirement. In earlier years he served as a ticket agent and freight agent for American Airlines.
Mr. Haas received much publicity in November of 1972 when his Southern Airways Flight #49 was hijacked for three days. The flight was terminated in Cuba with no serious injuries. A book, Odyssey of Terror, was written by Mr. Haas after the hijacking and he spoke to numerous area clubs and organizations regarding this publicized episode. Mr. Haas had been a resident of LaGrange for the past thirty years where he had participated in various community, civic and political activities of the area. He had served as an alderman for a number of years and at the time of his death was serving as Vice Mayor of the town of LaGrange. He was a member of the LaGrange United Methodist Church. Mr. Haas has been active in numerous airline and pilot organizations in past years. He served as a lobbyist in Congress for increased security at area airport and passenger screening. He had also served for a number of years as a member of the Master Executive Council for the Airline Pilot Association.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Haas is survived by one daughter, Elizabeth Blanche Haas of Memphis; four sons, William Robert Haas, Jr. of Cleveland, Tennessee; Gerry Steven Haas of Murfreesboro, Tennessee; James Dalton Haas of Somerville, Tennessee; John Garner Haas of Goodlettsville, Tennessee; one sister, Francis Elizabeth Haas Clifton of College Grove, Tennessee; ten grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Active casketbearers are Bill Haas, Jr., Gerry Haas, Jim Haas, Erik Haas, John Haas and Kris Haas. Honorary casketbearers will be John Stoll, William B. Cowan, Jr., Phillip Wallace, Russell Willis, William Himmeireich, Bobby Harris, Danny Bowlin, Larry Decker, and Billie Blocker.
The family request that memorials be made to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, LaGrange Cemetery Association or to the Memphis Zoo Memorials, 2000 Prentiss Place, Memphis, Tennessee 38112.