Eternal Hills Mortuary & Crematory at Eternal Hills Memorial Park
1999 El Camino Real, Oceanside, CA
Robert Edward Haebel
July 18, 1927 – May 25, 2017
Major General Robert Edward Haebel USMC, Retired
Major General Robert Edward Haebel was born in Marcus Hook, PA., 18 July 1927. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in June 1945, earning his eagle, globe, and anchor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. He attained the rank of sergeant prior to attending and graduating from West Chester State Teachers College, class of 1951. Commissioned a Marine second lieutenant, Major General Haebel next proposed to his college sweetheart, Miss Barbara Louise Shellenberger. They were married on 1 September 1951.
Major General Haebel’s Fleet Marine Force tours include: Platoon Commander, 1st Marine Division during combat operations in the Republic of Korea (1952); Company Commander and G3 Operations Officer, 3d Marine Division (1960-1961); Staff Officer, Force Troops Atlantic (2d Force Service Support Group), Camp Lejeune, NC (1961-1964); Division Operations Officer and Battalion Commander (3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion), 1st Marine Division during combat operations in the Republic of Vietnam (1967-1968); Plans Officer, G3 Operations and Training Officer, and Assistant Chief of Staff G-3, Headquarters, Fleet Marine Force Pacific, HI (1972-1975); Commanding Officer 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, Okinawa, Japan (1975-1976); Commanding General, Force Troops Atlantic (2d Force Service Support Group), Camp Lejeune, NC (1976-1978); and Commanding General, III Marine Amphibious Force / 3rd Marine Division, Okinawa, Japan (1982-1984).
His multiple tours outside the Fleet Marine Force include: Marine Barracks, Treasure Island, San Francisco, CA (1954-1957); Military Assistance Advisory Group, Taiwan, as an advisor to the Republic of China Marine Corps (1957-1959); Marine Officer Instructor, NROTC Unit, University of New Mexico (1964-1967); G3 for Operations and Training, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, SC (1970-1971); Director Personnel Management Division (1978-1979) and Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Headquarters Marine Corps (1979-1980); Commanding General, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, SC (1980-1982); and Commanding General Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, CA. (1984-1987).
Major General Haebel’s military education includes: The Basic School; Amphibious Warfare School; and the Naval War College. In addition to a B.S. in Education from West Chester State Teachers College, he holds an M.A. degree in Education from the University of New Mexico, and an M.A. degree in International Affairs from George Washington University.
His personal awards and decorations include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal; Legion of Merit with Combat "V" and gold star in lieu of a second award; Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V"; Purple Heart Medal with gold star in lieu of a second award; Presidential Unit Citation; Navy Unit Commendation; Meritorious Unit Commendation; World War II Victory Medal; National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star; Korean Service Medal; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; Vietnam Service Medal; Combat Action Ribbon; Korean Presidential Unit Citation; Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Commendation Cross of Gallantry with Frame; United Nations Service Medal; and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device.
After 42 years in uniform Major General Haebel transitioned to civilian attire and finished his working years with the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency. His leadership skills were instrumental in facilitating the update and opening of numerous Public Health Centers helping countless staff and patients.
Major General Haebel passed quietly on 25 May 2017. He was preceded in death by his sons William J. Haebel (1960) and Jeffrey C. Haebel (1997). He is survived by Barbara, his bride of 65 years, daughters Deborah L. Haebel, and Lisa Haebel Holden (John), daughter-in-law Mrs. Jeffrey C. Haebel (Kim), eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
A service celebrating Major General Haebel’s life will be held at the Marine Memorial Chapel, Camp Pendleton, CA, 30 June 2017.
Major General Haebel will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery on September 13, 2017 at a service beginning at 11:00 AM. Please visit the Arlington National Cemetery website for additional information and instructions. http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/
In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the Semper Fi Fund.
Arrangements under the direction of Eternal Hills Memorial Park, Mortuary, and Crematory, Oceanside, California.
- Memorial Service Friday, June 30, 2017
Robert Edward Haebel
June 14, 2019
I was the regimental surgeon of the 4th regimental 3rd marine division on Okinawa 1982-1983.
Capt John Holden and I share many memories of Mt. Fugi, including my discovery of several of our troops having contracted " Tsutsumagushi Fever" from tick bites while on recon training at the foothills of Mt Fuji Japan.
We also endured an overnight foot of snow during our MCRES readiness training The troops were peacefully sleeping under the snow and no cold weather casualties
The march through the city of Pusan was particularly memorable as the Korean people gathered in large numbers for an emotional ceremony at the Korean war cemetary..
Capt Holden may remember calling me the "Doctor of Discipline" as I was " counseling " the troops in my office and he could hear me through the wall of our adjoining offices...
Capt Flores of3/4 battalion was married
to General Haebels assistant ..also Capt Flores...and he asked me to cure her of her morning sickness and when I did..everyone was quite relieved...!
I wanted to stay with General Haebel and then I was accepted to Flight Surgery training in Pensacola...
And General Haebel called Pensacola and told Capt Frank Dully...
" Make sure he has a Marine Corps flight instructor. Doctor O'Malley is a Marine"
I hope Capt Holden (John) keeps in touch with all the special people who shared our experiences and memories
I am so proud to be a Marine...
God bless us all.....
February 22, 2019
I had the honor of serving as MGen. Haebel's last aide-de-camp. For those 15 months, I had the great fortune of observing why that "Marines' Marine" achieved two-star rank. I rather quickly realized why Robert was entrusted with command of the Marine Corps' most populous and mission-diverse installation: Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. It was clear to me that what kept the watchful, ever-engaged, wide-ranging leader and mentor Bob Haebel operating at such a schedule-packing high tempo was a visceral sense of responsibility for ensuring that the Marines and sailors who trained at, and deployed from, Camp Pendleton were as ready as possible for whatever its was that duty might demand of them. Reflecting the general's "roots" and great affinity for young Marines, his summer of 1987 retirement ceremony took place on the troop-filled parade deck of the base's School of Infantry. And afterwards, as I sat to the general's left as Cpl. Kevin Johannes drove the three of us back to base headquarters a final time, I reflected on how richly blessed is our Corps to have had the lion-hearted Robert Edward Haebel rise invaluably through its ranks.
October 16, 2017
My name is SSGT Jim Donegan and I served with 3rd Amtrac Battalion in Vietnam. One day our C.O. Colonel Shuford told me he was headed home to the Pentagon and he wanted me to meet his replacement. He said Jim I want you to meet Lt. Colonel Robert Haebel. He shook my hand and asked where I was from. I said Philadelphia. He said really and I said no sir, some little town named Ridley Park near there. His face lit up and he said Colonel this Marine and I need to have a drink and talk. He related he grew up in nearby Marcus Hook and went to Ridley Park High School. He said he played football for Coach Wilson there and I said the coach is a friend of my dad. He was also good friends with Stub Chace who I reported to. I had been in touch with Bob by phone a year ago but lost contact. This loss is deeply personal and I apologize to the family that I did not know in time to be there. Attached is a picture of Bob at the officers shower, Marble Mountain 1968.
September 29, 2017
General Haebel's leadership qualities were without peer. In my eyes, he was a Marine's Marine. I was blessed to have back-to-back tours with General Haebel in 1983-1984 at Camp Courtney, Okinawa and while serving with the First Marine Regiment at Camp Pendleton from 1984-1987.
From time-to-time I would attend General Haebel's morning staff meetings at Camp Courtney as the Assistant Third Marine Division Chaplain. On some of those occasions, I and others around the table would be treated to authentic stories from a masterful story teller. The one in particular I remember was when the general was selected to be one of the first Americans to go down into the volcano at Mt. Suribachi on the island of Iwo Jima. As he vividly described his descent in great detail into the lower reaches of the remaining 1944 Japanese fortifications, you imagined yourself
smelling the acrid taste of sulphur that remained a part of the interior of the mountain.
While stationed on Okinawa, I became intrigued with the idea that the nation of Japan had a day in their calendar set aside as "Children's Day." Whereas in the U.S.A. we seem to have a day set aside for every possible category, we did not have a day when we recognized and celebrated our children. When I approached the CG of CAMPEN, General Haebel, in the Spring of 1987, he listened carefully and agreed that Camp Pendleton should have its own "Children's Day." The weekend of 22 and 23 May was set aside for this observance. A number of people on his staff were identified to organize and execute this day. I assisted.
General Robert E. Haebel USMC, will be missed and remembered fondly.
Barbara and family, my deepest condolences,
CDR Ronald A. Ritter, CHC, USN (Ret)
(Former Sergeant) Veronica Scott
September 17, 2017
In 1968-69, I had the profound pleasure to serve with the then LtCol. Haebel in the G-3 office at Parris Island. I've not met a kinder or more benevolent person, as well as outstanding Marine, than was he. Anyone who served with or worked alongside General Harbel will have the fondest of memories. My most sincere condolences are extended to the entire Haebel family.
Wilson "Whip" Waters
September 12, 2017
General Haebel was the Commanding General at Parris Island in 1981 while I was a 2nd Lt Series Officer. He was the kind of CG that would ask for our opinions about recruit training because we were closest to the action and our opinions carried weight with him. For a 2nd Lt that meant everything to us to have the CG listen to our opinions. Throughout the years after that I could always seek career advice and he was never to busy to return your phone call if you happen to be passing through his area. He was an exceptional leader and didn't hesitate let me know that I was his friend. Colonel Wilson "Whip" Waters USMCR (Ret.)
September 4, 2017
I had the distinct honor of serving under General Haebel when he commanded 2nd FSSG, CLNC in 1972 & I commanded 2nd 155mm Howitzer Battery SP FMF as a Captain soon to be promoted to Major by the General. He was the consummate Marine. We maintained contact over the years & the last contact I had with him was at Christmas 2016. RIP Marine. Until we meet again. Colonel Jon Chase (US Marine, retired)
August 1, 2017
I had the wonderful pleasure of working with Bob when I first started with the County of San Diego. Bob was blessed with the common touch, made others feel immediately comfortable, and led by example. Possessing a great sense of humor, he was quick with a quip, and carried on with humility and a twinkle in his eye. I was so sorry to hear of his passing and valued the time we shared an office together in the old Health Services building. God bless you Bob.
July 29, 2017
I am so sad about his passing. He was the most remarkable boss I could have. A generous man and the best integrity of anyone I have known. RIP Bob.
Love to family,
Jean White (Fallbrook Ca.)
July 25, 2017
California Council of Military Officer Association and Sergeant Major Lee Bradley USMC Ret regret the final formation of a GREAT MUSTANG MARINE OFFICER.
LtCol David Christian Yorck USMC Ret President www.calmoaa.org
July 10, 2017
Sadly, I say goodbye to Major General Haebel... A most wonderful Marine and son of Pennsylvania. It was a great pleasure to serve with him as the Commanding General of the Third Division. Sir, Rest In Peace.
July 8, 2017
Bob Haebel was my boss for several years when I worked in the Office of Vital Statistics in San Diego County Health Services. He was definitely a "people" person. Our working relationship never felt like supervisor/boss. It felt like "how can we get this done by working together?" Thus he made you WANT to do the best you could to accomplish the sought after goal. He was such a special human being. I am so sorry to hear of his passing. To you, his family, I offer my sincere condolences. I am sure you have many wonderful memories of a man whose life was well lived.
July 5, 2017
A wonderful man, and a superb leader. He was the kind of person who lights up the room when entering, with his great sense of humor and his caring way with people. So sorry to hear of his passing. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.
July 5, 2017
Such a remarkable man with abundant energy and a wonderful sense of humor. All of us have stories about how he brightened our day and showed us what real leadership was all about.
July 3, 2017
Deeply saddened to hear of Bob's passing. Thoughts and prayers with family. Never worker for a finer person in either the military or civilian world. I'm just one of so many people that he made an everlasting impact on. "Fair winds and following Seas"
June 30, 2017
Is it possible that the commander of thousands of Marines can deem one of them his adopted son?
I served with General Haebel four different times during our careers, and that's how he treated me.
The most memorable tour was at III MAF in Okinawa. Well, the General was in Okinawa and I was in KoreaPohang to be exact. The General's pet project was the development of an Expeditionary Base Camp called Camp Muchuk in Pohang and I was his Officer in charge. He coined the name Monty Muchuk for me.
General Haebel kept tabs on me long after our Marine Corps careers. He was there for my 60th birthday party, he was there at a family member's funeral and he came to watch me compete in the handball tournaments. Between events, we kibitzed on the phone. Always memorable.
When I moved to Las Vegas our visits subsided. So, in one of our phone calls, the General told me to step out into the Las Vegas sunshine. Look behind you, he said. I'm right there in your shadow.
It is my honor to have known the General, to have served with him and to consider him my adoptive father. And, I am sure that stepping outside today, I'll feel his presence in my shadow.
Semper Fi, Sir.
Lt. Col. Monty Nereim USMC (Ret)
Ricardo & Elizabeth Virgen-Santos
June 29, 2017
Dear Haebel Family, Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
It was a special and honorable experience to share our lives with Bob. Our friendship with him was sincere and pure. His loyalty was everything, and he was so kind to always take the time to stop and see us. He'd rush in telling everyone he was just here to see us, saying "I'm looking for those 2 kids that work here and got married, I want to see them!" He knew our story. We loved the attention he gave us. We will always keep him in our hearts. He was very special to us too. He was Humble and a Great Human Being, touching the lives of so many.
Thank you Bob for your friendship!
Ricardo and Elizabeth Virgen-Santos
San Diego, CA
June 29, 2017
It was my honor to work for General and Mrs. Haebel and to be part of their extended Marine Corp family, thank you, sir, for all the great memories, until we meet again.
Your Ranch House gardener,
June 27, 2017
I was honored to serve with General Haebel when he was the CG Parris Island 1980-82. He was an outstanding Marine and personhe became a friend. He was a devoted family man and his friends/Marines became part of an extended family. He treated all with fairness, firmness, dignity and compassion. He is a favorite of my wife Marsha and that feeling was apparently reciprocatedshe has told General Haebel stories through the years. When he departed for Okinawa from Parris Island he went through Hawaii and sent back 12 flower leis to Parris Island for 12 identified wives. That evening at a club social at the PI Officer's club, Marsha was the single Major's wife who received a lei, all the others were senior officer's spouses. On several occasions he called back to Parris Island to speak to Marsha when he wanted to get a pulse on what was going on at Parris Island as she was very active in the community. He knew where to get the straight scoopreal leaders do! If the Army and the Navy ever look on Heaven's scenes General Haebel will be on duty. God Bless you Barbara and family, you are in our prayers.
Semper Fi, Marsha and Michael Franks
June 26, 2017
I served under General Haebel when he was the CG of MCB Pendleton in the early 80s. Under his guidance and gentle coaxing he transformed MCB Pendleton into a showcase of the Corps. General Haebel epitomized what being a Marine was 24 hours a day meant - a true leader who will be sorely missed. Our prayers and thoughts are for the family.
LtCol and Mrs. Thomas Carras
June 26, 2017
I received a personal letter from Major General Haebel congratulating me on my selection to Colonel. The fact that he took the time to send that letter speaks highly of his relationship with all Marines. His letter still hangs on my wall. I was privileged to served on his staff when he was the CG of Camp Pendleton and to have him officiate at my retirement. Major General Haebel was the leader and mentor that all Marines strive to become. Our prayers and thoughts are with his family.
Colonel & Mrs Alphonse Bernotas
June 26, 2017
It was a great honor for my husband MSgt Jimmy D Vandever and I to have known Major General Haebel and a special honor to have him speak at my husbands funeral. there was not a dry eye in the chapel after he spoke. There was no way to thank him for such a wonderful send off to the heavens above. Where I am sure they will meet again.
Ms. Terry Vandever
June 26, 2017
Dear Barbara and Family:
I was the Midshipman Battalion Commander at the University of New Mexico, fall of 1964. "Major Haebel" was our MCO, and Battalion Officer. Since his passing, several members of the UNM NROTC class of 1965 have contacted me, and we have shared stories, anecdotes and "sea stories" relating to a leader, mentor, gentleman and shipmate. CAPT Mike Conerty is also a personal friend, and he and I have enjoyed reminiscing and sharing personal observations of MGEN Bob.
The leadership and mentoring skills I developed over my 25 year navy career, were built on the foundation that "The Major" instilled upon me. His standards were high, be they in the classroom, the drill field, the color guard, or the "Police Detail" that cleaned the UNM Field House after basketball games. He took the time to work with me, challenge me and inspire me. We also studied together as students in a "History of the Civil War" class, and he loaned me his personal copy of the "West Point Atlas of American Wars".
Recall that he befriended my dad, Hugh Gray. Dad was in the concrete products business, and Major Bob, Mom and the kids would swing by dad's office in that green jeep, and load up with supplies and products for the next project underway at "Camp Haebel" in Albuquerque.
I also recall that shortly after my 21st birthday, I went to a liquor store up in the NE heights to buy a six pack, using my new found legal status. Damn! The man sold me my first legal six pack!
Blessings and thank you for your service as a Marine Corps wife, mom and inspiration. MGEN Haebel leaves a professional legacy to be sure, but he will be remembered best by the troops, and the junior officers who were privileged to serve with, and learn from a Marine's marine.
Best personal regards,
June 24, 2017
In February 1976 i returned home from a tour of duty in Okinawa. I reported to my new assignment as a young corporal at Camp Lejeune 2D FSSG. Shortly after settling in, i was summoned by the Battalion Sgt. Maj. The Commanding General was looking for a new driver. I wanted nothing to do with this assignment! Seeing a General for a young regular troop was devastating in itself. I quickly began to respectfully withdraw from consideration as i was sure the many competing marines were more qualified and wanted the job more than i. After being instructed to get yet another high and tight, i was sent to interview with General Haebel. As i entered the Headquarters building, i saw numerous marines, who were undoubtedly there for the same reason. I felt i would perform my quick interview and be on my way back to my regular duties. When i entered this overwhelming environment, i was dumbfounded. The General, seeing my fear, immediately made me at ease. He called me by my first name and told me we had served together over in Okinawa. He asked about my three marine brothers and my Mom. He spoke very little about the job. He dismissed me and i went back to my work without knowing anything. At quitting time that day, my O.I.C called me into the office and advised me that i was to report to my new assignment on Monday. I can not begin to explain all the things The General taught me, but he prepared me for a life of confidence and honor. I also had the privilege to know Mrs. Haebel, a very sweet and kind soul. I was discharged from the Marine Corps in 1980 with what was supposed to be a career ending injury. It took a year, but i got back in shape had a good career in law enforcement. Afterwards i owned and operated martial arts schools in the US and Mexico. Enjoying my retirement, i live Mexico with my wife and dog.
To start out a Private and ascend to the rank of General, all the while growing and maintaining his degree of sensitivity, character, honor and leadership seems impossible. He did it!
It has been 39 years since i left LeJeune, but his presence in my life remains.
(former)Sgt. Jerry L Thompson, aka: Waleed S. SimBa
June 23, 2017
Ms Barbara, Ms Lisa and Haebel family ... With our thoughts and prayers and our sincere condolences. We are with you and MajGen Haebel be it in person or here in spirit, on Friday 30 June and always! Semper Fidelis .... Debbie and Jay Paxton and family.
General and Mrs. John M. Paxton, Jr.
June 23, 2017
I served under General Haebel's command at Camp Courtney, Okinawa during 1980. He was a great, simply inspiring person and officer. We have lost one of the greats with his passing. I have recalled my tour with him with considerable pleasure and regard over the years since then. He will be sorely missed.
Semper Fi, my friend, my Captain...
Lee Logan, Lt.Col. USMC (ret)
June 22, 2017
It was my good fortune and great pleasure to be a college classmate of Bob and his wife to be, Barbara. I was also one of Bob's roommates for more than two years. We became fast friends, frequently visited each others homes, double dated, competed in sports , and were waiters in the college dining room.
In the spring of our junior year, Bob decided to move off campus and commute from home. His life would take a serious turn. He had decided to commit to Marine Officer Training and to marrying Barbara. Because he was such a good student and possessed such a magnetic personality, I felt that Pennsylvania would lose a great teacher, but Pennsylvania's loss was our nation's gain as he became a great warrior, teacher and leader of United States marines.
To be a friend of Bob Haebel was to be a friend for life. We went our separate ways but never lost touch. Months and sometimes years would pass and at the least suspected time he would make a surprise visit. He would often let me know when he was coming east and we would have brief reunions. When my wife passed away in 2008 his contacts became more frequent, which helped me greatly in those troubling times.
In the spring of 2015, I told him that I would be attending the convention of the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Memorial Society in San Jose. He insisted that I visit following the convention. He flew me to San Diego and picked me up at the airport. I learned, first hand, of Barbara's consummate hostess skills and after a delightful two day visit and meeting more of the family, I was sent back to the airport in a chauffeured limousine. In the summer of 2016, my grandson was being married in the L.A. area. Another invitation was extended. My son and I flew into San Diego and drove to Vista for what would be my final get-together with my dear friend.
I join his many friends in expressing my profound sorrow at his passing. My thoughts and prayers will always be with him and his beloved family.
God speed my friend, "love you like a brother".
Ed Malikowski W.C.S.T.C., Class of '51
June 19, 2017
Barbara and family. We will be there with tears and condolences. We love you both and especially have a special place in our heart for the best neighbor we ever had.
Ron and Karen Adams
A. Lee Scarborough
June 17, 2017
I was honored to serve with Major General Haebel when he was 2nd Lt. Haebel. He was my platoon leader when he came to Korea. We were in the 1st Amtrac BN. at the time we were in Masan, Korea. Our service together began there in January or February, 1952. We (the 1st Mar. Div.) moved from the Eastern part of the Korean front to the Central part. We were right in front of the Peace Talks @ Panmunjom. The British Commonwealth Div was on our right, the Korean Marine Corps was on our left. The 1st Amtrac BN. was sort of dismounted (Parked our 52 company Amtracs, took our 30 & 50 cal. M.G.'s and went on line with KMC's on their left. We were on the Imjin River in front of the Chinese.
I was one of Gen. Haebel's (Lt. Haebel's) guys. We got to the front by riding on the trains. (Flatcars) with our truck, tractors, weapons etc. We rode from the Masan/Pusan area North thru Seoul and up to the 1st Mar. Div. Hdqtrs @ Munsani. We stayed until we went home. Gen. Haebel was wounded on "Bunker Hill" (I think) He was wounded in the arm, hand. I'm pretty sure he came back to see us but I don't think his superiors were in favor of that. He went back to the states. I made it out in January '53.
He was a very good man, a great MARINE. He lead us by example. He and I became telephone friends when he retired. He served with guys I knew. Lt. Col. Tom Dalzell and Maj. Mike Franks among others.
Even after we were in our eighties he was still keeping me in line. I became a high school principal and did well at the same. Lessons learned from Lt. Haebel in tight situations paid off in managing hot shot 10th & 12th graders who still had a lot to learn.
Marine training and on the job application lesson from my friend and mentor General Robert Haebel carried me on through life. He has meant the world to me, my family and my direction in life. I will do the best I can to be present in Arlington when he goes to rest.
God Bless you Gen. Haebel. My leader, my ponoyo & the best Marine I ever knew.
Semper Fidelis Sir,
Once a - Sgt. U.S.M.C.
P.S. Somebody make sure the General gets plenty of credit for his late in life relations & service with the Korean Marine Corps and the Korean people. He kept as longs as he could.
May God Bless him & keep him.
June 16, 2017
I was honored to have served under General Haebel at Camp Pendleton during my last tour of duty. He was the epitomy of Marine leadership and was a pleasure to work for.
Our thoughts and prayers with the Haebel family.
Colonel and Mrs. Frank Capin
I always appreciated Barbara's quiet nature & well remember all the fun we had in the Gourmet luncheon club & on various social occasions. My sympathy & heartfelt thoughts are with you.
June 15, 2017
I remember the time, on the occasion of his 85th birthday, that his last principal staff from Camp Pendleton held a birthday lunch for him. But he didn't know it. It was a surprise - and boy was he surprised as well as happy.Almost the entire staff was present. It was as if we were having one of the General's staff regular meetings. He was one amazing man, a unique general officer, and, most of all, an outstanding Marine. He was truly a General of Marines'. Those we hold most dear never truly leave us. They live on in the kindness they showed, the comfort they gave, and the love they brought into our lives. May beautiful memories give the Haebel family strength in these difficult hours. My wife, Barbara, and I shall remember him always. With deepest sympathy.
Colonel and Mrs. James Reilly
June 15, 2017
General Haebel and I served twice together. The first time was on Okinawa immediately followed by another tour at Camp Pendleton. After our respective retirements we went beyond the traditional military military relationship and became friends. We visited frequently on the phone or when he showed up unannounced at the horse stables at Camp Pendleton to watch me work with my horses (never could get him on a horse though). We would talk about world affairs, the state of our Corps, the future of our nation, and life in general. His thinking was deep and his concerns genuine.
Colonel and Mrs. James Reilly
June 13, 2017
Bob was a wonderful human being and a leaders' leader. As I told him more than once, I only regretted not knowing him when I was much younger. If I had, he would have made me a better leader. Rest in peace oh faithful servant.
Donald G. Ramras, MD
Retired San Diego County Public Health Officer
June 13, 2017
I worked with Bob Haebel at the County Health and Human Services Agency. He was the most selfless, unassuming person I have ever met. There was no job too large or too small for Bob. He would frequently drop by my office and ask "How are you doing? Anything I can do for you?" He was one of a kind!!! I feel lucky to have known him. I thank his family for sharing him with us, and I hope you have many fond memories to help you through this difficult time.
June 13, 2017
I had the sincere pleasure of working with General Haebel in his civilian role with the County of San Diego's Health and Human Services Agency. His discipline and logistics skills were instrumental in making many improvements throughout the Agency. His ability to elicit and respect everyone's opinion without judgment was remarkable. I feel honored to have known this great man.
My condolences to the Haebel family.
June 12, 2017
I had the distinct privilege of working with Bob at the County Health & Human Services Agency. Although I was nominally Bob's boss for a number of years, there was never any question who was really in charge. I highly value the memories of the time we spent together and all of the great work and wisdom shared by Bob. I know that Bob will be missed by all who knew and loved him.
June 12, 2017
To the Haebel famiily,
You have remained in my thoughts and prayers.
A warrior and patriot has left behind a legacy in his wonderful family and the tens of thousands Marines and Sailors he touched during his service to our Nation.
The General made a difference.
Major General Charles M. Gurganus
June 12, 2017
My deepest sympathies to the entire Haebel family. I was honored to work with Bob during his time at the County of San Diego. He was always such a hard worker, respected by all, especially me. My entire family just loved him.
June 12, 2017
I worked under Bob as a Public Health Nurse Manager. He was one of the most inspiring bosses I ever had. He encouraged me to imagine what could be and to bring ideas to fruition and I received my most treasured award under his leadership. He was a role model for leadership and earned my complete respect and love. If I had served under him in the military I would have followed him anywhere. He was a very special man.
June 12, 2017
My thoughts and prayers are with all my family at the celebration of my beloved Uncle Bob....the awesome hero of my family...love you all...
Ms. Joan Owens
June 12, 2017
We wish we could be there. We love you all and are thinking about you.
Jake and Shelley Bonds
June 12, 2017
I was surprised to hear of Gen. Haebel's ascension, however, from everything that I knew of him, he led a very honorable and noble life. I got to know him through his relations with Dr. Bo Hi Pak and The Little Angels of Korea. He 'adopted' 4 of them and was so proud to have this affiliation with them and the rest. God has called his 'soldier' home now, and he will be greatly missed here on the early plane. Nonetheless, we look forward to meeting again one day, and carrying on with heaven's work, together. God bless you always...
All the best,
Mark & Yong Ja Tobkin
June 11, 2017
Uncle Bob, as we knew him, was one of the most caring people that we have ever known. He always wanted to know about you first. How's your family? How's work? How's life? We would always feel at ease when we were in his company. He officiated at the weddings of both our sons. He commissioned one of our sons as a Marine and later promoted him to 1st Lt., then Captain. He encouraged and supported our other son in his musical endeavors. He was a very special person to all of us and we are missing him dearly. We all love him and his family deeply. Our prayers are offered for his family during this difficult time. Love, Barbara and Randy Miller
June 11, 2017
I worked with Bob Haebel after his military career at the County of San Diego. I have never known a finer human being. Integrity, honor, accountability, compassion, and the most positive, can-do spirit I have ever encountered....praying that the good Lord keeps Bob and his family in the warmest, loving embrace during this time.
Dr. Bob Ross Los Angeles
Colonel and Mrs. John Haggerty
June 11, 2017
Accept our deep sorrow and sympathy.
Colonel and Mrs. John Haggerty
June 11, 2017
I knew General Haebel when he, then a Major, was the Marine Officer Instructor at the NROTC Unit, at the University of New Mexico. I was already a veteran of Fleet Marine Force Pacific (Camp Butler, Okinawa 1963-64), but as a History Major he accepted me as a student using his classes to fill up an Elective course in my studies. He was obviously a Marine's Marine and an inspirational leader, but he was also a truly great teacher. It has been said that Education is a Drawing Out', not a Putting in'. Major Robert Haebel had the gift of being able to draw out the best efforts from each individual with such grace that one didn't even feel the effort.
Mr. Chris Eng and Reverend Mrs. Joan Eng
June 11, 2017
We miss him already. Without a doubt the greatest man I have ever known. He convinced me to be a Marine, and allowed me to believe it was my idea. Then he was there for me every step of the way. He commissioned me, promoted me to 1stLt and Capt, and married my wife and I. How many others have been profoundly influenced by General Haebel? I suspect too many to count. His influence and mentorship will have positive effects on our Corps for generations. We mourn his departure, and we celebrate that we had the opportunity to know him. All our love to Mrs. Haebel and family, you are in our thoughts and prayers every day.
The Tuck Family
June 10, 2017
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
June 10, 2017
Rest in peace, General.