Walter F. Haase, II, 81, of rural Worden, died on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020, at his residence.
According to his wishes, cremation rites were accorded and there will be no services. Williamson Funeral Home in Staunton is assisting the family.
Mr. Haase was born Feb. 20, 1939, in Litchfield, to Walter “Mick” and Erna (Comfer) Haase. He married Carol (Hopper) Thomason on Dec. 17, 2004, and she survives.
He attended Zion Lutheran School and graduated from Staunton High School with the class of 1957. He then attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale to study journalism. He graduated from Washburn Trade School in Chicago, where he learned Linotype operation.
Mr. Haase began working with his father, who was half-owner of the Staunton Star-Times in 1959. He later became a partner and publisher in 1963 and sole owner in 1975. He worked at the 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 them. He always had an old car or truck that he enjoyed driving around.
Mr. Haase 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 also a member of St. Paul United Church in Staunton and had been attending New Hope Baptist Church in Worden.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by three stepchildren, Lindsey (Jeremy) Heigert and Adam (Kristen) Thomason, both of Litchfield, and Nathan Thomason of Worden; four grandchildren, Gretchen, Josiah, Gabe and Noah Heigert; and his first wife, Nancy Haase of Hamel.
Mr. Haase was preceded in death by his parents.
Memorials may be directed to a charity of the donor’s choice.
Online condolences to the family may be left at www.williamsonfh.com.