Celebration of Life next Saturday for Henry J. Haba, 1923-2019

Family and friends will gather next Saturday (September 21st) to celebrate the life of Henry J. Haba. Here’s the story of how his life unfolded:

Henry Joseph Haba passed away peacefully August 12, 2019 at Providence Mount St. Vincent, where he stayed for the past four months.

Born May 6, 1923, the ninth of 15 children to Martin and Agnes Haba in Carrington, ND. His parents were born in Poland. Survived by daughter, Charlene, West Seattle. Brother, Louis Martin (Lee) and sister, Lorraine Bell (all in California). Also survived by over 40 nieces and nephews, 55+ great and 20+ great, great nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by wife Clara in 2017, son Gene in 2014, his parents, and 12 siblings.

The Haba family migrated to Grandview, WA in 1936. Farming and taking care of the animals started at 4 am. They attended a one-room school house.

Faking his age, Henry joined the US Army in 1940. Corporal Haba spend three years in the jungles of Panama. He then attended Paratrooper School and was sent to Germany. He attended trade school in Yakima to become a carpenter. Henry married Clara Fitterer of Yakima on July 3, 1948. They were five months short of 69 wonderful years of marriage. They traveled by car to Anchorage, AK to work. They moved back to Yakima, where he built a duplex and house. The family moved to Seattle in 1958, where he built a house on Gatewood Hill. In 1962 they moved to AZ. Rented in Phoenix, then built a duplex in Tempe. Moved back to Seattle a year later. Rented an apartment by Green Lake, then purchased the brick Tudor in West Seattle. He then built three more houses before downsizing to a condo.

Henry was a retired 71-year member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters (LU 30 Renton, previously LU 131 Seattle). He attended monthly meetings and always had some tool to give away to the apprentices. He worked many construction jobs through the years. Working for the Austin Co., SCI and John Sellen Construction. Some projects included Hanford, the Floating Bridge, NW Airlines Flight Kitchen, Tacoma News Tribune, UW Hall Health, Olympic Hotel, Colman Ferry Terminal, and before retiring, the Metro Tunnel.

In 1999, Henry was one of over 200,000 people marching to protest the World Trade Organization in downtown Seattle. His leisure was spent vacationing in the US, Mexico and abroad. He tried his hand at skin diving, Weekends were spent at Vasa Park with the ski boat, ice-skating and snow skiing. He mostly enjoyed his totally equipped workshop (never was a car in the garage)! Some creations were birdhouses, writing pens and carved walking canes.

He was able to go on the Honor Flight to Washington, DC and see the war memorials. His guardian for this was Mike Musterman, who became his best friend. All the guys met each morning for coffee, talk, and laughter at the Morgan St. McDonald’s.

Henry was a very practical man who expected you to do the job right. He was very grounded with staying power. Always thought “HIS” jokes were the funniest! You could call him “a collector” of anything and everything. Traveling the alleys and neighborhood wasn’t unusual. Knew a little about a lot of subjects. Read the newspaper from front to back every day.

Thank you to all the people who visited Henry in his last days of a very full life. Also to the care given to him by staff at Mt. St. Vincent.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, September 21 st from 4-7pm at the White Center Eagles. A military funeral be held at a later date at Tahoma Cemetery (Clara’s burial included).

For more information please go to Dignity at this link

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

3 Replies to "Celebration of Life next Saturday for Henry J. Haba, 1923-2019"

  • buglarbustindad September 15, 2019 (10:57 am)

    Henry was one of the most capable and remarkable men I have had the pleasure to meet.  He was a skilled craftsman and great storyteller.  He lead an active full life and he will be missed.

  • Joan September 15, 2019 (5:49 pm)

    What a wonderful life! We need more like him!

  • WSB September 15, 2019 (6:18 pm)

    Processing this for publication, I was impressed by the many achievements. Later in the day, I realized … Mr. Haba lived a few houses away from us for a while. Seemed there was always lumber in the back of his pickup truck, so the carpentry past doesn’t surprise me, but so many other things, I didn’t know, like the WTO protest participation and fibbing about his age to enter the Army early. Anyway, we are honored to be able to publish obituaries, no matter how simple or complex the stories. (We also published his wife Clara’s obituary in 2017.) – TR

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