September 23, 1964 ~ February 24, 2018
Matamoras, PA; Keller and Beaumont, TX; Gulf Breeze, FL
Russell J. Haas was born to Russell L. (former U.S. Army, deceased) and Carol (Bockemuhl) Haas, on 23 September 1964, in Matamoras, PA. "Russ", as he was affectionately known to friends and family, graduated from Delaware Valley High School in 1983 and carried on with a strong family tradition of military service by immediately enlisting within the U.S. Air Force on 1 August 1983, where he served as a Security Specialist, and achieved the rank of Sergeant (E-4), before his Honorable discharge on 30 June 1992. During his time in service Russ was deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield / Storm, graduated from the Noncommissioned Officer Leadership School, and earned an Air Force Achievement Medal, a Southwest Asia Service Medal with one bronze star, as well as numerous other service and training awards and decorations.
After completing his military commitment Russ was immediately employed with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, as a Corrections Officer, from 1992 until 2005, achieving the rank of Lieutenant. When the newly formed Federal Air Marshal Service stood up, he joined in 2005 and served until his retirement in 2016, as a Senior Federal Air Marshal. All in all, Russ devoted 36 consecutive years of his life to both military and law enforcement service to his country.
Russ was traveling on vacation, en route to the Kingdom of Thailand, with his wife, best friend, and soul-mate, Elizabeth "Beth" (Petersen) Haas (former U.S. Navy) of Portland, OR when he was called to the Lord on 24 February 2018.
He is survived by his two daughters, Linsey and her husband, Justin McNeel of Beaumont, TX and Alexa and her husband, Ryan Ard of Silsbee, TX; as well as his grandchildren: Sweyzie and Benji McNeel, and Lane Ard. Russ is also survived by his mother, Mrs. Carol B. Haas of Matamoras, PA; his brother, Anthony (former U.S. Navy) and his wife, JoEllen Haas of Matamoras, PA; his sister, Theresa (Haas) (former U.S. Navy) and her husband, Daniel Aguilar (U.S. Marine Corps, retired) of Pulaski, NY; his brother, Nicholas (former U.S. Air Force) and his wife, Mary Haas of Malone, NY; and his brother, Patrick (U.S. Air Force, retired) and his wife, Linda Haas of Stafford, VA. Russ' surviving nieces and nephews include: Danielle, Brent, and Matthew Aguilar; Nicholas, Michael, and Rachel Haas; Kayleigh (Haas) Stegall, and Stefan, Marina, and Sean Haas, along with many cousins.
Russ is best remembered as the friend of all, always ready with a joke, a smile, and being genuinely interested in the answer to his question "How are you doing?". Russ was many things to many people; a respectful son, a loyal brother, a devoted husband, a supportive father, a doting grandfather, a fellow officer who you could count on to "have your back", and a true friend. He enjoyed hunting and fishing with family and friends, and was a 20 year shareholder and past board member in the Slate Stone Hunting Club, Inc. Russ' greatest joys were spending time with his wife and soulmate, Beth, watching the waves curl into the beaches in Florida or traveling the world together, and spending time with his children, grandchildren, family, and friends.
A celebration of Russ' life will be held on 18 August 2018, commencing at 1 p.m., at the Erie Track Side, Port Jervis, NY. The service will be officiated by the Reverend Leonard Gilpen of the Hope Evangelical Free Church, of Matamoras, PA;with a luncheon following the service.
For additional information or to send a condolence note to the family, please visit www.grayparkerfuneralhome.com or call Gray-Parker Funeral Home, Inc., Port Jervis, NY at 845.856.5191.