Walter F. Haase II, 81, died Saturday, August 1, 2020, at his home in rural Worden. He was born on February 20, 1939, in Litchfield, the son of the late Walter and Erna (Comfer) Haase. He married Carol (Hopper) Thomason on Dec. 17, 2004, and she survives.
Walt attended Zion Lutheran School and graduated from Staunton High School in 1957. He then attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale to study journalism. He graduated from the Washburn Trade School in Chicago where he learned Linotype operation.
Walt began working with his father, Walter “Mick” Haase, who was half-owner of the Staunton Star-Times, in 1959. Walt became a partner and publisher in 1963 and sole owner in 1975. He worked at the Star-Times newspaper for 60 years, retiring on Dec. 31, 2019, when he sold the company. He was an outdoorsman who enjoyed fishing, hunting, playing golf, and doing yard work.
He was especially passionate about old cars and spent many hours restoring old vehicles. He always had an old car or truck that he enjoyed driving around. He was a member of Staunton Masonic Lodge #177 A.F. & A.M., Forrest Lake Fishing Club, and took a leadership role in many civic organizations in Staunton throughout the years. He was a member of St. Paul United Church of Christ in Staunton and had been attending New Hope Baptist Church in Worden.
He is survived by his wife Carol Haase of rural Worden; three step-children, Lindsey (Jeremy) Heigert of Litchfield, Nathan Thomason of Worden, Adam (Kristen) Thomason of Litchfield; and four grandchildren, Gretchen, Josiah, Gabe, and Noah Heigert. He is also survived by his first wife, Nancy Haase, of Hamel.
According to his wishes, Walt’s remains were cremated and no visitation or services will be held. It is suggested that memorials be made to a charity important to the donor. Williamson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.