2017-10-07 / Obituaries

Vernon Haan


Vernon Haan Vernon Haan Vernon Jay Haan, 89, a longtime resident of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, passed away Sunday, September 17, 2017, at the Arbor Village Retirement Home.

He was born December 9, 1927, to Jacob and Josephine (nee Ringold) Haan in Grand Rapids.

He attended South High School in Grand Rapids, where he was graduated in 1946. After high school, he attended the University of Baltimore, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in transportation. When Mr. Haan completed his degree at the University of Baltimore, he was recognized as the top graduate of the entire university. He won the Traffic Club of Baltimore Transportation Honor Award Gold Key and was elected to the Beta Alpha Honorary Scholarship Society.

Mr. Haan was proud of the time that he spent in the U.S. Army 48th Airborne Division during World War II. He served as company clerk for the 5th Army Corps.

He married the love of his life, Joyce Marie Fritch, September 2, 1950, in Grand Rapids.

Mr. Haan was a man who loved the world of transportation, starting as an inspector with the Pennsylvania Railroad and eventually serving as a vice president of the National Industrial Transportation League. One of his important projects was to inspect all of the new marble being used to reface the United States Capitol’s east front extension from 1958 to 1962.

In 1969, he built his family a home in Lake Bluff, Illinois, where they joined the Methodist Church and forged close friendships and ties with more than a dozen families, all still treasured and held dear to this day. In 1976, Mr. Haan and his wife and their three growing sons, David, Bradley, and Nicholas, restored a historic Greek Revival home on Mackinac Island and turned it into Haan’s 1830 Inn Bed and Breakfast.

After retirement, Mr. and Mrs. Haan moved to Lake Geneva, where he became a driving force behind the creation of the Geneva Lake Museum and Historical Buildings project. Among his proudest achievements was being honored with the Stu Herzog Outstanding Citizen Award by the Lake Geneva Chamber of Commerce on September 9, 2008.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Joyce; two sons, David Haan of Rockville Centre on Long Island, New York, and Bradley Haan and Will Myers of Los Angeles, California; two grandchildren, Shannon and Lucas Westblade and Jacob Haan; one great-grandchild, Gideon Westblade, and one brother and his family, Versol and Lynda Haan of Jenison.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Haan was preceded in death by a son, Nicholas Haan, who died July 26, 2017; three brothers, Donald, Roger, and Delbert Haan, and two sisters, Thelma and Doris.

A memorial gathering was held Sunday, October 1, at 3:30 p.m. at the Geneva Lake Museum in Lake Geneva.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Geneva Lake Museum.

Derrick Funeral Home in Lake Geneva assisted the family with arrangements.

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