Memorial golf tourney July 8 to honor Jim Haas, pillar of Perry

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Pillar of Perry James R. (Jim) Haas was announced Thursday as the newest addition to the Wall of Witnesses.

The late Jim Haas will be honored at the annual Memorial Golf Tournament to be held Sunday, July 8 at the Perry Golf and Country Club (PGCC).[wpedon id=”85410″ align=”left”]

Each year the PGCC honors the memory of a member who made a significant impact on the club and community. Jim Haas, who died Nov. 11, 2017, was the natural choice as this year’s honoree.

Sports were always a big part of Jim’s life. A Perry High School graduate in 1940, Jim played football and basketball. He was a member of the 1936 State Championship football team at Perry High. Later in life, golf and following Hawkeye sports teams occupied his sporting interests.

After attending the University of Iowa for a year after high school, Jim joined the U.S. Army Air Corps. He was a bombardier in the 8th Air Force with the 398th Bomb group, 603rd Squadron from the fall 1942 until June 1945.

Jim flew 36 missions over Europe, and he received the Purple Heart for being critically wounded. He also was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Victory Medal, Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters and the European Theatre Award.

Jim married Diana Foster in March 1945 while home on leave. Jim and Diana returned to Perry after the war, and Jim served as senior vice president and trust officer at the Perry State Bank for 40 years.

Jim and Diana raised two children in Perry, their son, Marty, and daughter, Nancy.

Since he was a banker, Jim was asked to be the treasurer for many of the fine organizations that he joined. These included the Salvation Army, Perry Library Foundation and the Perry School Board.

Jim was very civic minded and gave many hours to the American Legion and was a frequent guest speaker to high schools on the subject of World War II. Jim also served as president of the Perry Jaycees, the Chamber of Commerce and the PGCC.[wpedon id=”85410″ align=”left”]

Jim was also a very devoted Christian and served the First Christian Church as an elder, chaired the board and was a trustee. Jim made a promise to God that if he returned home safely from the war, he would serve the Lord. Jim kept his word and was a strong Christian his entire life.

Jim and Diana’s children, Marty and Nancy, were very much a part of Jim’s life. Life was busy because he was very involved in his children’s activities. In later years, Jim attended many of his grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s activities, whether it was a sports team contest, a music concert or a dance recital.

Jim’s devotion to his ailing wife, who had Alzheimer’s disease and preceded him in death, was a testament to the vow, “in sickness and in health.” Jim took care of Diana at home for several years before she needed additional care and became a nursing home resident. For more than three years, Jim visited her every day for several hours before God called her home.

Besides being a talented golfer and president of the PGCC Board of Directors for several years, Jim also served the club in other ways. Late in life, Jim was the starter for Tuesday and Thursday night golf leagues at the PGCC and also helped out as a starter for the annual O’Connor Golf Tournament.

Frequently, Jim and his friends could be found at the club enjoying a meal on Friday night.

In short, Jim Haas left quite a legacy for both the community of Perry and for the PGCC. The Memorial Tournament is an individual stroke play event, with the top 12 and ties playing an additional nine holes for the championship.

All other players will be flighted for their 18 holes scores. Nick Luett is the three-time defending champion of this event. Any individual who would like to play in this year’s tournament should contact the clubhouse as soon as possible to enter by calling 515-465-3852/

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