James H. Haack

July 22, 1928September 16, 2022
Obituary of James H. Haack
Born James Harold Mitchell on July 22, 1928 to Laura Roselee Paepke Mitchell and Floyd Mitchell, in the north bedroom of his grandparent’s house in Pierson Township, Montcalm County, Michigan. A tragic loss of a younger sister the following year would prove too much for his father, which led to Jim staying at his grandparent’s farm until 1936 when his mother would remarry to Russell Lewis Haack. Jim would have to move several times as a child during the Great Depression, due to the lack of work for his parents. In 1939 he found himself in Ann Arbor, Michigan attending the Ever Ball Grade School and it was there where he was introduced to art, music and dancing in earnest for the first time; to which he spent the rest of his life enjoying and appreciating. Being there only two months, he moved to Veerlin Farms near Ypsilanti where he cultured his love for animals, while watching over the farms team of Grey Percheron horses; and it was also here that he learned to ride his first bike and learned to drive through the fields of Michigan in an old beat-up GM truck, hauling grain from the combine to the storage bins, to which was one of his young life’s greatest thrills. Then war most Americans at the time, the attack on Pearl Harbor left an indelible mark on the soul and life of Jim. Times were becoming more challenging and Jim was getting into high school when formally adopted by his stepfather in 1944 and took the new surname of “Haack” to which he kept for the remainder of his life. Upon graduating from Stanton High School in Michigan in 1946, Jim enlisted into the US Army Air Corps, where he would serve three years before being honorably discharged in 1949. This was just the beginning of his long and storied career in the Armed Forces. Jim had the most unique military background, as he was one of only a few who served in the United States Army Air Corps, the United States Air Force and the South Carolina Air National Guard. His basic training for the Air Corps was at Lackland AFB in Texas and then was assigned to the 335th Fighter Squadron at Andrews AFB. Jim worked on the P-47 aircraft and was a member of the first team to work on and ready for war the new F-80 Shooting Star, the first jet fighter in the US Air Force, set to see action in the Korean War. Through his career Jim was subsequently assigned to Chanute AFB, Illinois; Maguire AFB, New Jersey and Ladd Field in Alaska, where he worked on the new F-86 Sabre; the first swept wing jet fighter that saw great success against its MIG counterparts. After his discharge in 1949 he went to work for Grand Trunk & Western Railroad repairing steam and diesel engines, among a few other trades. Alas, life on the rails was not life in the air, so in 1956 Jim reenlisted into the USAF and trained on the B-66 bomber at Sheppard AFB, Texas. He was then stationed at Shaw AFB in South Carolina as a part of the 9th Tactical Recon Squadron and was again honorably discharged in 1960 from the USAF and joined the SCANG. Jim would remain at Shaw, working on and training others to work on the F-104 fighter and A-7D aircraft and in 1980 was reassigned to Quality Control, a post he would keep until his retirement from Civil Service in 1984 at the rank of Chief Master Sergeant; a career marked by excellence and selfless service and duty. It was during Jim’s stint at Shaw AFB that he found a new home and the love of his life in Chapin, SC. The early 60s brought to Jim the love of Julia May Amick, one of the sweetest, most devoted women to have ever walked the Earth according to Jim (and everyone else who knew her!) They started their life on her Amick family land, after their marriage in 1961, in a wooden house that was salvaged from the land that now rests under Lake Murray. They would eventually move just down the road and stay for the duration of their lives. Jim was devoted to his God, his family and his community and his influence has been felt in the Chapin area for many decades as evidenced by the boxes upon boxes of saved letters and cards from people all over, and organizations worldwide, thanking him for his monetary help, words of encouragement and sponsorships of those who were less fortunate or found themselves in hard times. He was a selfless individual content in nothing but learning more about his call from God on Earth and trying his hardest to make sure that no one went without. As a member of the American Legion, Sertoma Club and countless other civic organizations, he enriched the lives around him with his dutiful service to all. Jim’s strong faith and endless service to God is evidenced by decades of scriptural studies and continuing education lessons, all saved, cataloged and kept, only to be opened and studied several more times a piece. Jim’s non-wavering support of and faithful service to St. Jacob’s Lutheran Church, where he served on council, sang in the choir and participated on nearly every committee, team or position that needed help, epitomized the man that Jim was; always willing to serve, whenever someone was needed, no matter the capacity. Jim loved to work the ground, loved to work on anything mechanical, playing volleyball and bowling in his early years changed to cards and dominoes, but he was always active and loved to learn new things, every chance he could. Jim passed the morning of September 15, 2022, peacefully in his sleep after an acute illness, at Parkridge Hospital. Although he had stayed at home after the passing of his beloved wife in 2013, over the past year Jim had to come to the point that it was his time to receive help instead of giving it. The family and friends of Mr. Jim would like to thank the administration and staff of Generations of Chapin for their care, friendship and support; a place Jim would often refer to as his “special home full of friends". Jim was a man full of love and life and never met a stranger. He was a treasure of a man and the best friend one could have ever had. The world is a better place because of Jim, that is without a doubt. Go rest high on that mountain old friend. We all love you and will miss you, until we meet again. Jim was predeceased by his mother, Laura Fry; father, Floyd Mitchell; stepfathers, Russell Haack and George Fry; sister, Jean Aneline Mitchell; half-sisters, Mary Mitchell and Donna Johnson; half-brothers, Loren, Russell and Glenn Mitchell; and his wife of 52 years, Ms. Julia May Amick Haack. Surviving in Michigan are half-sisters, Deloris DeVuyst, Marguerite Schooland, Marie Sheck; half-brothers, Carl Mitchell, Gerald Mitchell, Lloyd Mitchell, and Louis Van Buren; along with several nieces and nephews. Surviving in South Carolina are nieces, Earline Shealy, Mary White Epting, and Jo David. A visitation will be held Wednesday, September 21 at Caughman-Harman Funeral Home, Chapin Chapel, from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. A funeral service will be held at St. Jacob’s Lutheran Church in Chapin on Thursday, September 22 at 2 p.m., with interment to follow in the Amick Family Cemetery across the street and adjacent to the church cemetery. Pallbearers for the service are Lynn Shealy, Danny Shealy, Johnny Wessinger, Tracy Eargle, Paul Rego and A.J. Peeples. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Haack family.

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  • Lynn Shealy
  • Danny Shealy
  • Johnny Wessinger
  • Tracy Eargle
  • Paul Rego
  • A. J. Peeples

Past Services

Wednesday, September 21, 2022


Thursday, September 22, 2022

Funeral Service

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Interment Following the Service