The Reverend Eugene Henry Haaf

The Reverend Eugene Henry Haaf


Let us remember with thanksgiving the life and ministry of Rev. Eugene Henry Haaf, 96, who passed away just two weeks shy of his 97th birthday (April 5), on March 23, 2023.

He still sported a generous amount of black hair, recalling the little boy from D Street, Derby, who loved his mother's liver soup ("Why don't you make that anymore, Ma?" "Oh, 'Gene, it was the Depression! Liver was all we could afford!").

The little boy was just a teenager when WWII brought the draft. He served in the infantry, 94th Division, seeing service in Europe before and after the war. He found his calling there, in a foxhole, under the chaos and cacophony of heavy shelling, when prayer brought him an overwhelming sense of God's love, a feeling of peace, and a commitment to serve God in gratitude.

The GI Bill gave him the opportunity to attend West Virginia Wesleyan and earn his Masters of Divinity at Yale University, joining the ministry in the United Methodist Church. The UMC also brought him the love of his life when he met Jacqueline Haman at a UM Youth retreat at Camp Quinipet in 1955. He took her out sailing, without knowing how to bring her back in, so he just had to keep her. They were married that December.

Gene became a Local Pastor in 1952 and was ordained as Full Elder in 1956. He served the following churches: Bristol: Prospect UMC, Richmond Hill: Trinity UMC and Hampton Bays UMC.  In 1970 Gene became the pastor at North Haven: Faith UMC in North Haven, CT, where he would serve until retirement in 1991. The parishioners he served became family, many of the youth calling him "Dad". He would visit when he could, and remained in touch, continuing to care for others and minister long after retirement.

Gene and Jacquie's greatest love was their family: sons Richard, David, and Paul, and twins, Beth and Donna. With great joy they welcomed to the family Paul's wife, Lynette, and Dave's wife, Kristin. His favorites were his grandchildren, Kalynda, Taylor and Wesley, who brought him great joy and energy.

Ninety-six years was not long enough, but Rev. Haaf's love and compassion for his family and all who knew him are never-ending. His wisdom and caring will be a lifelong inspiration.

A brief memorial service and a celebration of Gene's life, was held on Saturday, April 1, 2023 at Faith United Methodist Church. Memorial donations may be made to The Rev. Eugene Haaf Memorial Fund, payable to Faith United Methodist Church, 81 Clintonville Rd, North Haven, CT 06473

Blessings and prayers to the Haaf family at this time of loss.