OBITUARY

Dr. George A. Haas

April 12, 1946August 24, 2019

Dr. George A. Haas, age 73, of North Little Rock, died at his home Saturday, August 24, 2019, after a courageous journey with Lewy Body dementia. He was born April 12, 1946 in El Dorado, Arkansas, the son of Dr. Joseph J. and Gwendolyn Holm Haas. He was preceded in death by his parents and his youngest brother, John Randall Haas.

Following his graduation in 1970 from the Southern College of Optometry, he served two years in the Navy as an optometrist. Upon his discharge from military service, he returned to Arkansas and established his optometric practice in North Little Rock, then Sherwood and Cabot. He was a 1976 graduate of the Rockefeller Foundation Institute of Politics and Government.

Dr. Haas served his patients, community, and profession with dignity and outstanding achievements. He implemented a total comprehensive primary eye care concept practice, providing the finest eye care available by integrating services with ophthalmology and other health care professionals. He developed indigent eye/vision care programs for the poor and extensive screening programs for local schools. Dr. Haas was a leading force in Arkansas Optometric political efforts, helping guide the political and lobbying efforts since 1978, working with colleagues to pass numerous pieces of legislation.

He began his service in the Arkansas Optometric Association as Public Relations Director, working his way through the chairs to become President in 1977 at the young age of 31. In 1978, he assumed leadership of the Legal Legislative Committee and was a driving force of optometry in the political process for many years. In 1988, Dr. Haas created and developed Arkansas Eye Associates, serving as its President. Governor Mike Huckabee appointed him to serve on the Arkansas State Board of Optometry and as an optometric representative to the Arkansas Board of Dispensing Opticians.

He served on numerous American Optometric Association committees from 1978 to 1991. As Chairman of the Statutory Definition Committee and the State Legislative Affairs Committee, he helped direct the legislative awareness and efforts of numerous states. Through his involvement in these states, he recruited numerous politically active optometrists from across the nation to build the State Legislative Affairs Committee into one of American Optometric Association’s strongest, most active, and effective committees.

He was honored by the Arkansas Optometric Association on numerous occasions, including Optometrist of the Year in 1985 and 1995, the Distinguished Service Award in 1979, and the Special Legislative Service Award in 1987. The Mississippi Optometric Association honored him in 1987 with their Certificate of Outstanding Excellence and Achievement as a Legislative Speaker. The Southern Council of Optometrists honored him as Optometrist of the South in 1996.

He loved his patients and cared about them as though they were family. He would entertain his young patients with magic tricks. He often said he would never retire as he loved going to his optometric practice every day and seeing his patients. He also loved the legislative process and helping pass laws for his profession which would enable optometric physicians to better serve the eye care needs of patients in Arkansas. His Community involvement included membership and board participation in Rotary, Jaycees, Salvation Army, Optimists, North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce, Sherwood Chamber of Commerce, North Little Rock Parks Commission, Department of Human Services Advisory Board, and the Little Rock Executive’s Association. He also found time to coach YMCA football, basketball, and baseball teams for youth. In 1977, the Arkansas Jaycees selected him as the Outstanding Young Man of the Year.

Dr. Haas was an avid reader and book collector, loved to travel with his wife Susan, scuba dive, and was a football fan – Cowboy’s football. He began his love of duck hunting with his father and brothers at a young age.

First and foremost, Dr. Haas loved his family. He is survived by his wife, Susan Southard Haas; his three children, Laura Marsh (David), Christopher Haas (Tiffany) and Jennifer Haas; nine grandchildren, Jordan Marsh, Alex Marsh, Wesley Marsh, David Marsh, Jr., Maggie Haas, Joshua Haas, Jake Haas, Luke Haas and Ella Grace Haas; his brothers, Dr. Garry Haas and Joseph Jay Haas. His family will miss this amazing husband, father, grandfather and brother. His bright smile, infectious laugh, insightful conversations, and playing casino are cherished memories.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 pm, Wednesday, August 28, 2019, at Griffin Leggett Rest Hills Funeral Home, 7724 Landers Road, North Little Rock with visitation beginning at 1:00 pm. His grandsons will serve as honorary pallbearers. A private burial will immediately follow in Rest Hills Memorial Park. Please share your memories of Dr. Haas with his family at www.griffinleggettresthills.com.

In lieu of flowers, memorials honoring Dr. Haas may be made to the Southern College of Optometry, 1245 Madison Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104.

Services

  • Visitation Wednesday, August 28, 2019
  • Funeral Service Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Memories

Dr. George A. Haas

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Ruby McNamara

September 12, 2019

I never had the privilege of meeting Dr. George, but know about his strength, kindness, humor and beautiful heart from my friend Susan. Thank you Susan for sharing about the love of your life. I look forward to hearing more cherished stories. ♥️
After reading what everyone has shared I wish Dr. Haas had been our family optometrist.
Peace and prayers for all your family and may all your hearts be light with the loving memories of a wonderful husband, Father, Grandfather and friend.

DAN BARTELL

August 29, 2019

Our sympathy goes out to all the family. He will be missed by many. Donna and Dan Bartell and family

Whitney Blankenship

August 29, 2019

Dr. Haas was my doctor starting when I was a teenager. I always looked forward to my appointments with him because he was so genuine, caring, and fun to talk to. He cared about you, and often gave me great advice on life’s issues. He treated you like family, and he also didn’t let you leave until he had everything just perfect. I will never forget, I had an eye emergency the morning I was supposed to leave for my honeymoon and couldn’t open my eye. Dr. Haas met me at the office before business hours and got me taken care of. You just don’t find doctors like him anymore! He will certainly be missed by everyone who was lucky enough to know him. Sending love and prayers to Dr. Haas’s family in this extremely difficult time.

Laura Bartell

August 28, 2019

Laura, Chris, and Jennifer,
Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers during the loss of your father. What a wonderful tribute honoring Dr. Haas’s life and success. Especially that he first and foremost loved you. May you gain strength as the memories of his life continue to shine through you.

Audie Teague

August 28, 2019

George was my friend, colleague and mentor. He saw potential in me and and took it upon himself to inspire, challenge and mentor me to be a leader in my profession. Even in times of disagreement, our passion for optometry was a common bond that kept our friendship intact. I am thankful for our friendship. He is and will be missed. Thank you Susan and family for supporting his endeavors on the behalf of Arkansas optometry.

John Hall

August 28, 2019

George was a member of The Rotary Club of North Little Rock for many years and always asked the speakers the most penetrating questions. some times they were stunned and could not come up with an answer. He also was my optometrist for many years and always loved to talk. May his family find solace in his wonderful legacy.

Brenda Hodges

August 28, 2019

Susan Iam so sorry for your loss. I’m praying for peace and comfort for you and your loved ones during this difficult time.

Brenda Hodges
(Former Secretary @ Dr Fant’s)

Robin Jones, MD

August 28, 2019

I was a patient of Dr. Haas for many years. He was always a light in the dark. I was so lucky to be in his care. May God bless him and his family.

Amanda Scemons

August 28, 2019

I had the pleasure of working for Dr. George in both clinics for 8 years. I absolutely adored him. He cared so much for his patients and his staff. He never failed to check in with “How is your family doing”? Or “is there anything you need?’ When I moved it broke my heart to leave and then he created a part time position for me just so I could stay there and only have to drive a couple of days a week. I did that for two years before moving on to another job just because I didn’t want to leave! He was so special and I will never forget it! I will forever remember the good times like watching him do magic tricks for kids, passing out the famous green bean roll up recipe to all of his patients at Christmas, playing Norah Jones over the speakers, and the time he fell asleep in his car during lunch and I had to go outside and wake him up with “So are you going to come in and see these patients today or what?” to which he busted out with that big laugh of his (I wasn’t sure that was the reaction I would get but I went for it anyway!). He will be missed.

My prayers are with Susan and the rest of the family. God bless.

Bill Lawrence

August 27, 2019

Wanted to tell the family that I was a teammate of George when he played for the Arkansas A&M Boll Weevils he was number 73. We called him the Big Swede. He played on Championship teams and was a great friend and teammate. He came back to a few reunions. Sorry for the families loss. He will be remembered by all who played with him. Bill Lawrence#33.





FROM THE FAMILY