In loving memory of my dear Mother ...

My family mourns the loss of our beloved mother and wife and know that with time will come healing, but her memory and the love she gave and shared with us will never weaken or fade with time.

Please see my contact information below to extend condolences.

I (her son, Reid) created this memorial site so that you might be able to learn some things about my mother that are too lengthy for publication in the newspaper obituary section.   She was truly a life long learner, an avid book, newspaper and magazine reader, fan of classical music (a few top favorites were Ivan Moravec, Pavarotti, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir among her extensive music collection), but most importantly, a person who cared deeply about others with an outgoing and positive character.  She grew up in the Presbyterian church and was a member at many Presbyterian churches throughout her life.  Her smiles in the photos below relay much about her attitude toward life and character.

Sept. 13, 1934  - Sept. 29, 2009

Ruth Carolyn (Oas) Haase

To get in touch with me, Reid Haase,
please email, call or write to:

7350 York Ave. So, #207
Edina, MN 55435

(612) 205-7343


Sept. 13, 1934  to 1952 Growing up in Bessemer, Michigan

Ruth Carolyn (Oas) Haase was born 75 years ago on September 13th, 1934 in the small town of Ironwood, Michigan just a few miles west of Bessemer, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Here in this beautifully wooded part of the country that is just miles south of the Lake Superior shore, Elmer J. Oas and Mabel Oas became the proud parents of Ruth Carolyn Oas and gave her sister, Eleanor (22 months her junior) a playmate and companion.  Known by her middle name, my mother Carolyn grew up in Bessemer, an ‘iron range’ town of around 2000 people just miles from the north eastern border of Wisconsin and a stones throw from the south shore of Lake Superior -and there formed her love for

1952-1956  Undergrad at Northwestern University

1956- 1958  Master’s at University of Michigan

Her desire to attain a master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling led her to the University of Michigan in 1956

She pursed successive degrees immediately after high school, first from Northwestern University in Chicago (Bachelor of Science from the School of Speech along with minors in English and Political Science on June 18, 1956).   During her studies at Northwestern she was active in Delta Zeta sorority, student government, Campus Conference on Religion, Speech Association of America, plus YWCA and Women’s Athletic Association.

Her degrees were the foundation to pursue a career in education as a school, career and college admissions counselor.   She worked as a Junior High and High School counselor in the Cleveland suburb of Parma (Parma Sr. High School) (1958-1961), the Milwaukee suburban schools (Wauwatosa)(1961-1963) and later at Richfield High School in Minneapolis (1963-64).  Along the way she worked for  Bell & Howell,  Houghton Mifflin Co. (1956-1957) (publishing), The Medical Bureau in Chicago (1957) and Ohio Bell in Cleveland (1960 summer job).



1958-1964 Building a career

My mother and father were married at Christ Presbyterian Church (where I have been a member for the past 14 years) in Edina (Minneapolis suburb), Minnesota and lived in the suburb of Bloomington, Minnesota up until 1972

During the mid to late 60’s, my mother worked as a high school counselor at Richfield High School until my brother was born in 1967


February 14, 1967  first son John Alexander born

August 22, 1968  second son Reid McCreary born

Parents Mabel (Reid) Oas and Elmer J. Oas with sister Eleanor on Mabel’s lap and Carolyn on her father’s

Carolyn in back with Eleanor  on the sled

John Alexander with mom

Christmas 1970

1972 Move to Fort Collins, Colorado and service to the community

Our family at our home in Fort Collins, 1975

Carolyn (just below flag) with Governor of Colorado, Richard Lamm, pursuing her work with state level education legislation

My father’s work took our family to Colorado (he spent the majority of his career in Colorado at Colorado State University as electronics design and maintenance engineer) where my mother raised me and my brother while also avidly volunteering her time with numerous organizations at the local and state level

Some of her accomplishments include:

Poudre R-1 District Parent Advisory Board president from 1980-1982 (formerly vice president)

Active throughout 1980s in Fort Collins Public Library’s Friends of the Library.

Poudre R-1 (public schools) Accountability Committee

1982 ran for City Council while I was in 9th grade at Blevins Junior High.

Prior to 1982 former vice chairwoman of Fort Collins Planning and Zoning Board.  Former member of the city’s Library Board.

1983 appointed Colorado’s fourth district representative on the Colorado Department of Education “Operation Renaissance” task force which developed recommendations for the state legislature and/or local school boards to improve education.  She also served on the Foreign Language task force.

Many ‘Letters to the Editor’ published in the Fort Collins Coloradoan newspaper on the topic of education.

Chairwoman of Colorado State Advisory Committee for Gifted and Talented Education.  Member of State Advisory Committee for Exceptional Children

1985/86 member of the Council for Exceptional Children.

February 1986 elected chairperson of the Colorado Department of Education State Advisory Committee for Exceptional Children.

August 1986 Poudre R-1 Vocational Education Advisory Council and Accountability Committee

Worked as a high school counselor in Gypsum, CO (1991/1992)  and Ellsworth, KS (1995)



Mom runs for Fort Collins City Council in Spring 1983

Carolyn (4 years) on left with little sister Eleanor (2 years)

In her late teens at home in Bessemer, MI on 106th E. Iron St.

people, education and the values that small towns across America indelibly impart to those who grow up under the shady trees of Main Street.  Her ‘Main Street’ was 106 E. Iron Street, just blocks from the A.D. Johnston High School.


Arriving at our new home in Fort Collins in Sept. 1972

(still living at this home currently)

John and Reid 1975

Her legacy is imprinted on the many young lives she encouraged to do their best, set higher goals and pursue advanced learning in the many fine institutions of higher education throughout the United States.  (She did interviews for Northwestern to aid in regional admissions work in the Colorado and western area).  It would be amazing to hear the voices of these students to understand how she influenced their education and career directions, helping direct them and guide them into lives of accomplishment and service to others.



Reid McCreary with mom

2005 with ‘Henry’ the cat and John

1994 while working in Ellsworth, KS for the senior high school

September 26, 1964:
Wedding of John Allen Haase & Ruth Carolyn Oas

September 26, 1964

In loving memory of my dear Father...

March 1, 1931 — October 18, 2012

John Allen Haase

My father’s journey is at an end and I am left with the indelible memories of a life full of caring, contribution and commitment to others in many ways.  While I had the full expectation that my father would be with us well into his 90’s, I am thankful for the many healthy years that he had.  He was fortunate to live a life largely free of medical care and was able to hike, bike, and do vigorous yard work up until his sudden admission to the hospital just 9 days before his passing. 


The values he passed on were modeled by his actions and underscored that we learn more from our parents from what they do than what they say; honesty, commitment, faithfulness, decency, charity, and humility stand out above many other traits. He had many impressive academic achievements and held many patents in his field of electrical engineering and never sought great recognition or accolades for these. He was most satisfied when creating, designing and accomplishing and his reward lay in the simple achievement in surmounting the problems that lay before him or those that people brought to him.


One of the aphorisms my father wrote down for me (you can read more of his favorites below) that reflects his character:

- What you have is nothing...what you are is everything.  John Haase

March 1, 1931 to the mid 1930’s  First years in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Mid 1930’s to late 1940s

My father grew up in Chicago and attended Oakton Elementary and Nichols Middle schools in Evanston, IL.  He went on to earn a BS in Electrical Engineering  and a masters in Electrical Engineering from Northwestern University, McCormick School of Engineering in Evanston.  He belonged to several honor societies including Tau Beta Pi for engineers.

My father came into the world just a few years after the crash of the stock market and his upbringing happened during a time of scarcity and conserving, hallmarks that stayed with him throughout his life. 

The Western Union telegram was sent the day after his birth by his father, John, to my father’s grandfather in Monroe, IA:
“...stork left 7lb John Allen, Jr.. Rascal doing well…”

Bicycling.  My father’s long-lived 1970’s Motobecane provided decade’s of commuting service to & from his work at Colorado State University.  He inspired me to love the sport of cycling too. No gas, fresh spoke to his values of caring for the environment.  When motorized transit was required...our trusty 1963 Chrysler Newport and 1969 Dodge Dart are in the background which he maintained himself.

My father’s number came up for conscription via the Selective Service in the U.S. Army from 1956—1958.  He spent the majority of his time at White Sands in New Mexico.  Here he is pictured in front of a large radar dish installation.

A portrait taken in 1961

One of my dad’s favorite activities was getting out in the mountains for some hiking. We logged many miles in the Rocky Mountains, especially in Rocky Mountain National Park and the national forests just minutes from our family home in Fort Collins, Colorado.

My dad made a trip to Washington DC where I was working in 2003.  This is the same city where he and my mother choose to spend their honeymoon.  Both he and my mother had a great appreciation for our nations capitol and believed strongly in civic involvement.

After 25 years of service at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, my father was recognized by president Yates.  He did electrical design, repair and troubleshooting work for many of the departments there. He also published many articles and held patents for his unique circuit designs.

My father enjoyed aphorisms (concise wise sayings) and collected and came up with his own over his life time. Here are a few he shared with me:


Well begun is half done


He who chops his own wood warms himself twice

Good bargains empty our pockets

If you do not do your best every time, you will never improve

Consumption creates nothing but transient satisfaction


Whatever is dead had the privilege of living


What was hard to endure is sweet to recall


Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be


Idleness is only the refuge of weak minds and the holiday of fools


No man’s knowledge can go beyond his experience


Your possessions should work for you; you should not work for them


Security depends not so much upon how much you have as upon how much you can do without


To speak without thinking is to shoot without first taking aim

My father’s precision in electrical engineering carried over to his interest he pursued to great extent in his brief retirement.  He created over 40 unique small box designs with experiments in types or wood, inlays, use of magnetic lid closures and more. He refurbished old furniture including sewing machine cabinets, headboards, dressers, nightstands and tables.