October 14, 1938 – January 31, 2020
Robert Lee Haney, a devoted professor and renowned scientist in the fields of meteorology and oceanography, passed away peacefully at his Monterey home on Friday, January 31, 2020. His wife, Olivera, and daughter, Laura, were with him. He was 81.
Professor Robert Haney was one of the pioneers in the modeling of the ocean circulations and the physical processes by which the ocean interacts with the atmosphere. Scientists realized that for longer period climate forecasts, the motions in the ocean and how they affect the atmosphere must also be modeled. Professor Haney’s Ph.D. research at the University of California, Los Angeles led to the development of one of the first ocean models in the world.
He continued his ocean modeling research after joining the Department of Meteorology at the Naval Postgraduate School in December of 1970. He refined his ocean model by including a technique to improve the representation of the temperature variations at the ocean surface. This development was crucial for proper simulation of the ocean circulations. Another problem he successfully resolved was the mathematical difficulty of calculating pressure differences at the bottom of the ocean where the topography is particularly steep. His scientific career also included sabbaticals at University of Hawaii, Honolulu and at the Spanish Oceanographic Institute of the Balearic Islands on Mallorca, Spain. He maintained the relationships with his students and colleagues from Mallorca to the end of his life. His expertise and extensive knowledge in his field led to his appointment from 1983-1988 as the co-Editor of the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Physical Oceanography, and then as an Associate Editor from 1988 until his retirement in 2003.
He was a devoted professor to his students and a mentor to many young scientists over his 33-year career at NPS and during his sabbaticals. In his Letter of Commendation from the Oceanographer of the Navy, Admiral Wilson mentioned the hundreds of Oceanography Officers who had benefited from Professor Haney’s guidance, assistance, and friendship, and thanked him for his superior service. In addition to a Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award for his outstanding contribution to the successful accomplishment of the instructional and research mission of the Naval Postgraduate School, Professor Haney received a congratulatory telegram from President George W. Bush upon his retirement that mentioned that he was a darn good golfer as well as thanking him for being a darn good Professor. Robert and his identical twin, Joe, were born to Floyd Bernard Haney and Daisy Cordelia (Kackley) Haney on October 14, 1938 in Newport News, Virginia. In 1942, their father was killed while serving in the Air Force during WWII and Daisy was left to raise the twins on her own. Bobby and Joe were very close from childhood and through their adult lives. They both grew to love the game of golf, spending many hours together perfecting their game. They received scholarships to play on the golf team at George Washington University.
After graduating from GW with a degree in Mathematics, Bob served in the Air Force where he had the opportunity to explore his interest in weather prediction. Bob moved to the West Coast to pursue his graduate studies in Meteorology at the University of California, Los Angeles. There he met his wife, Olivera, whom he married on September 1, 1966 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. They moved to Monterey after he completed his Ph. D in Meteorology and both started working at the Naval Postgraduate School. They had one daughter, Laura, who was born in 1974. He was a devoted husband and father.
Bob enjoyed many rounds of golf on the Peninsula, winning club championships at Rancho Canada. He and Olivera attended many concert, ballet, and opera performances in San Francisco where they were season ticket holders. Later when Laura was older, she joined them at classical music and arts events often. They travelled together to many countries in Europe as well as Japan and the United States. They frequently visited Laura’s family in Arroyo Grande, forming lasting relationships with their grandsons. Eric loved giving Gramps math problems to solve, which Bob systematically knocked off one by one. He made sure Eric followed along when explaining answers. He always made time and showed patience with anyone who wanted to learn.
During his illness, he received excellent care at home from Olivera and dedicated caregiver, Lupe, which allowed him to live as normally as possible in his last year of life. Our deepest thanks and gratitude go to the skilled staff at Choice Home Health Care: Vicki, Teresa, and Julie, for their professional excellence and the thoughtful treatments they provided; and to Firuza and Lupe at Reach Out Home Health Care. Robert was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Joe. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Olivera, daughter Laura Gabrielson, son-in-law Paul, and grandchildren Eric and Zachary. He is also survived by his niece, Barbara Haney Alag (husband Sartaj, children Kate and Peter), nephews Robert (children Kali, Alison, and Cameron), John, (Stacey, children Sarah, Parker, and Kennedy), and Dean Haney, and cousins Linda and Georgia.
Family and friends are invited to a memorial gathering at Carmel Fields (location of the former Rancho Canada Golf Course), on February 29th at 11am in the Merienda room. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the American Heart Association, PO Box 742030, Los Angeles, 90074.
American Heart Association
PO Box 742030, Los Angeles, CA 90074
A Celebration of Life
Carmel Fields (Formerly Rancho Canada)
Carmel Valley Rd.
February 20, 2020
Linda and I met you and Bob many years ago when our kids were little. We occasionally saw you in the Monterey area. We were so saddened to learn of Bob's passing.
I always remember the old car Bob drove, I think it was a Plymouth or a Dodge Dart. It always brought a smile to my face. I think you might have lived on Josselyn Canyon road for a while as well.
Our condolences to you and your daughter. Our kids are Bryan 48,
Michelle 46 and Daniel 39.
Bob and Linda Bebermeyer, Monterey, CA
February 12, 2020
Dear Olivia, Laura and family. Please accept our Condolences on Bob's passing on behalf of the Haltiner family. We appreciated the wonderful obit in the Herald, and share in the celebration of a life well-lived! I know that my parents George and Mary Haltiner both deeply valued the friendship they shared with you and Bob. And i recall that my father was absolutely thrilled when Bob joined the NPGS Dept in the 1980's! He spoke many time about what a brilliant scientist Bob was, and his immense contribution to the department! It was wonderful for all of us Haltiner kids to meet Bob and celebrate at the Weather Forecasting Lab dedication in 2009. I'll enclose a photo from that event, which included some of that remarkable NPGS faculty team.