Arthur H. Haist, 98, of Wabash, died at 11:13 p.m., Sunday, March 12, 2017 at Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne.
He was born May 15, 1918 in Hersey, Michigan to Herbert and Lena (Haist) Haist.
He led an active life: growing up on a farm, operating the farm with his two brothers after his father’s early passing, graduating from Michigan State University then continuing to teach Ag Economics at MSU. An avid outdoorsman, Art loved being in the woods or on streams or lakes. His greatest pastime was fishing, whether in his native Michigan, the wilderness of Minnesota and Canada, or later at his own “Kitchen Lake” on his farm in LaFontaine. As both lifelong student and teacher, Art shared his love for nature with his young children by planting a large pine tree stand around the lake with them and walking through the woods together describing different species. His studies continued well after retirement as he and his loving wife, Maxine, traveled much of the U.S. and even Mexico, attending 37 Elderhostels and logging over 150 thousand miles… all before GPS.
Art was an incredibly loving husband to his wife Maxine (Loker) through their 75 years of marriage. Together they raised four children in Wabash: Ellen (Douglas) Paige of Howell, Mich.; Peggy (John) Capin of Gloucester, Va.; David (Sandra Cleveland) Haist of Culver; and James (Gaye Sundheimer) Haist, of Culver. The family includes eight grandchildren: Shawn (Gretchen) Paige of Williamston, Mich.; Robyn Carr of Charleston, Ill.; Gretchen (Zulq Alam) Haist of Brooklyn, N.Y.; James (Marcy) Haist of Fort Wayne; Hannah Capin of Norfolk, Va.; Jacob Capin of Newark, Del.; Sam (Katelyn) Haist of St. Louis, Mo.; and Ben Haist of Los Angeles, Calif., and eight great-grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife, Maxine Haist of Wabash and preceded in death by his parents, and two brothers, Glenn and Paul Haist.
While planning to enter a doctoral program at UC Davis, Art was encouraged by Howard Halderman to join Halderman Farm Management in Wabash, telling him “you’ll learn more in two years with us, than many more studying at the university -- and make a damn better professor if you’ve seen the real world!” Howard’s promise was only partially true, as Art never officially became that professor. Rather, Art joined the Halderman firm in 1946 and stayed for 41 years. He began as a field man, then he served much of his career as vice president. He retired in 1987.
He was deeply involved in the Wabash community, his church, and his profession. He was an active member of the First United Methodist Church since 1946, a 22-year member of the Annual Conference, and Lay Delegate to the Annual Conference several years. Art was a member and past president of the Indiana Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, and a member of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers for more than 50 years. He was a member of the Mark C. Honeywell Society and a board member of Arc of Wabash County, receiving its benefactor award in 1996. He was active in the Wabash Kiwanis Club as both member and officer. At Kiwanis he was perhaps best known as the song leader for many years and was one the oldest and longest-living members of the organization. He served 27 years on the board and was a past chairman of First Federal Savings and Loan, now Crossroads Bank, and eight years on the Wabash City Council. Art received the Book of Golden Deeds in 1992 from the Wabash Exchange Club. Active with the Boy Scouts on the troop, district, and council level, he received the Silver Beaver Award in 1971. He also served on the Board of Trustees at Starr Commonwealth from 1956 to 1978 in Albion, Michigan.
There will be a Celebration of Art's Life at 10:30 a.m. Friday, March 17, 2017, at the First United Methodist Church, 110 N. Cass Street, Wabash, with Pastors Kurt Freeman and John Cook officiating. Burial will be in Falls Cemetery, Wabash. Friends may call 9-10:30 a.m. Friday at the church. A lunch will follow interment. Arrangements by Grandstaff-Hentgen Funeral Service, Wabash.
Preferred memorial is First United Methodist Church Memorial Fund.
The memorial guest book for Arthur may be signed at www.grandstaff-hentgen.com.