James R. Gray Funeral Home
1530 Buffalo Rd. Rochester, NY 14624



Haas, Wilhelm E.

Wilhelm E. Haas died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s on February 5th, 2019 at age 84, at Hildebrandt Hospice Care Center, Rochester, NY.  Predeceased by his brother Hugo Haas.  Survived by his loving wife of 58+ years, Ruth (Fischer) Haas; son Ronald Christian Haas and wife Lori Lynn Haas (Jackett); grandson Kaleb Christian Haas; sister Elizabeth Haberkorn and husband Otto; niece Jutta and nephew Achim; Ruth’s cousin Walter Hamma, wife Erika and children Martin and Monika.

Also, his beloved pet Lexi.

Wilhelm, or Bill as most people called him, was born 12-20-1934 in Eislingen, Germany.  Bill immigrated to Rochester, NY in 1955. He joined the United States Army were he was a German to English translator. Bill was then deployed back to Germany where he met his future wife Ruth, whom he cherished forever.  He returned to the U.S. with Ruth and soon began his family where his son Ron was born.  He also loved and considered his pet dogs Nici, Benny, Seppie and Lexi as treasured family members.  The family remained in the Rochester area including the city of Rochester, Town of Gates and Spencerport.

Wilhelm’s early training and professional life began as a Pattern Maker until 1969 where he was an Instrument Maker for Eastman Kodak Company. He quickly advanced to Supervisor, General Supervisor, Project Managerand finally Manufacturing Engineer.  By the time he left Kodak in 1991, he managed major projects from conception to final delivery.  Bill’s remaining professional carrier was with Webster Plastics where he retired from in 1998.

During his two years in the United States Armed Forces, a Craft Shop instructor encouraged Wilhelm to do some serious wood carving.  His first carving was a giraffe made out of maple.  The figure was 10 inches high, and at a later date he added a drinking baby giraffe.  He educated himself through books, reading anything available on Art, especially Sculpture and Wood Carving.  After a few years of carving, he felt he should try different materials and sculptured in metal, plastic, plaster and clay.  He also successfully tried his hand in Assemblages and Jewelry.

When asked how he gets ideas for his pieces, he said that most came from everyday life.  When he gets a thought for a new piece, he makes a quick sketch, and thenthinksabout the piece and how it may evolve for perhaps a year.  The piece is renamed many times during this process.  Sometimes he made a clay model, or has someone pose for photographs where he worked from.

Some pieces have deep meaning to him, but many were just things he thought would be interesting to do.

“With almost all of my work, I want to express a message, to point a finger at some aspect of our society and life, or just show the beauty of a creature that we may never think to have any beauty.

Wilhelm has, over the years, attended many art shows and has won numerous prizes and awards.  He was commissioned to do artwork, and many of his pieces are in corporate and private collections around the world.  He also had the honor of supplying the annual CURE Childhood Cancer Award Statuette for the Rochester area for about 20 years.

Wilhelm Ewald Haas was an introspective thinker

who successfully dedicated his life to Profession, Family and Art.

A Service and Celebration of Bill’s life is planned for 11:00 am February 16 at James R. Gray Funeral Home, 1530 Buffalo Road, Rochester, New York 14624.  In lieu of sending flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Humane Society of Greater Rochester.

Jim GrayComment