Robert Thomas Haake, age 77, of Buffalo City, Wisconsin, died February 13, 2014, at St. Elizabeth’s Health Care Center in Wabasha, MN.
Robert Thomas Haake was born on May 12, 1936, in the Winona, Minnesota. He married Barbara Schweiger on November 13, 1961 in Edina, Minnesota. They were divorced in March of 1980. On February 7, 1982 he married Deborah Clairmont in Fridley, Minnesota and resided in Minnetonka, Minnesota until he retired to Buffalo city, Wisconsin where he lived the rest of his years.
Bob was a graduate of Winona High School in 1954. He was class Vice President. He was the recipient of a Williams Academic/Athletic Scholarship to the University of Minnesota. After three years of playing football as a gopher quarterback, Bob became a member of Murray Warmath’s coaching staff as a graduate assistant. Bob was the president of Phi Kappa fraternity where he lived during his college career.
After graduating with a B.A. degree from the University of Minnesota in 1959, Bob entered the Army and was assigned to the Counter-Intelligence Corps.
After receiving his Army Honorable Discharge, Bob moved to Minneapolis and went to work for Honeywell, Inc. He was in Program Management at the Aeronautical Division of Honeywell where he negotiated and administered contracts with major aircraft companies.
After 10 years with Honeywell, Bob changed career paths and started his own manufacturer’s rep business in the giftware field. In 1975 he became a partner and co-owner in Coyne’s Giftware of Minneapolis. This company was buoyed by being a distributor and the regional sales team for the Enesco Corporation product line including Precious Moments and Cherished Teddies. Coyne’s Giftware also is a worldwide importer of giftware products and remains a major factor nationally in giftware.
Bob retired and sold his share of the business in 1998, at which time he moved with his wife, Deborah, to their retirement home in Buffalo City, Wisconsin where he continued to serve on the Board of Directors for Coyne’s Giftware.
Bob has been a staunch supporter and contributor to the University of Minnesota and the “M” Club. His favorite charity is Sharing and Caring Hands of Minneapolis. He is a member of St. Lawrence Parish in Alma, Wisconsin.
Bob was also a steadfast member of the Demontreville Retreat House in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, attending over 35 retreats spread over his adult life. He introduced several friends and relatives to the peace and spiritual uplifting of the five-day retreats.
Bob had a love for music, and on occasion would get out his ukulele and strum a few songs for his grandchildren, children and other family members and friends. He said he was truly blessed to have many of his grandchildren involved in some sort of music and/or sports.
During Bob’s younger life, he loved to fish, and as the years went on, he did less fishing and he turned his favorite pastimes into fantasy football and birding. Bob fed the birds year-round and loved to identify and note the many birds that came to his feeders. His favorite birds were humming birds, orioles, indigo buntings, grossbeaks, bluebirds, cardinals, bluejays, yellow finches and all the many varieties of woodpeckers. Bob loved to share the feeding chores with his grandchildren. You could hear him directing them “too much; not enough; don’t spill; careful on the ladder and hang it here!”
Bob is survived by his wife Deborah of Buffalo City, Wisconsin; three children, Bart (Mary Armbrust) Haake of Pepin, Wisconsin; Bret Haake (Dawn Wahldieck) of North Oaks, Minnesota; Paige (Charles) Hastings of Bloomington, Minnesota; 8 grandchildren—Jordan, Caiden, Braxton, Isabella, Willow, Gabriella, Mason and Madison.
Bob was preceded in death by his mother, Hildegarde (Tud) Haake, his father, Alfred Haake, his brother, Bill (Pat) Voelker, Rochester, Minnesota, and sister, Jeanne (Jerry) Walter, Lemon Grove, California.
It is requested that memorials be sent to either the Jesuit Retreat House, 8243 Demontreville Trail North, Lake Elmo, MN 55125; or Sharing and Caring Hands, 525 North 7th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55405-1523.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, February 18, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Talbot Funeral Home, Alma, Wisconsin.