Bryce Dennis Haugsdahl
April 30, 1950 – December 15, 2020
Our beloved Bryce D. Haugsdahl passed away on December 15, 2020 in Memphis, Tennessee at the age of 70. He was born in Yakima, Washington to Vernon and Eva Haugsdahl and was the oldest of four children. He attended Central Catholic High before transferring to Eisenhower High School and graduating in 1968. Bryce earned his A.A. in Technical Aeronautics from Yakima Valley Community College in 1970 and his B.A. in Business Administration from Central Washington University in 1972.
Bryce was a man who loved life. No matter what the endeavor, Bryce embraced life with amazing dedication, passion and enthusiasm. As a young man, he enjoyed performing as the drummer in a local band, earned his first pilot’s license while going to school, and ventured with a college friend to the summit of Mt. Adams. Bryce said of the adventure, “Reaching the true summit of 12,327’ was more than a victory! It was more than an achievement. It was validation that we had gone beyond what we thought were our limits. We learned that when things seem darkest, we are often at the threshold of a breakthrough. We would never be the same. We had new tools to face the next of life’s challenges.” Bryce’s strong spirit and magnanimity led him to continue stretching forth to great things throughout his life.
Professionally, Bryce felt drawn to non-profit work and started working for United Way in Yakima prior to graduating from college. For the first three years he worked nights as a reserve police officer in Yakima which he believed set the foundation for his success with United Way by allowing him to see and experience many different aspects of his community. Bryce continued to rise through the ranks within United Way in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Houston, Texas, and Orange County, California. In 1984 he joined the United Way Mid-South chapter in Memphis, Tennessee where he would remain for the next 30 years. He served the last four years as President before retiring in 2014. Through his professional contributions and executive and board level leadership he helped raise millions in United Way support for social and health service programs. He was an active member of Kiwanis Club of Memphis for thirty six years.
Bryce discovered his passion for flying at an early age. He flew many types of aircraft, including Lear Jets, which was his true love. While a United Way Executive, he was also a Lear Jet pilot, often flying nights and weekends. As a chief pilot for Palm Air Executive Air Charter he provided on demand air charter service. Services included air ambulance, and as a pilot, Bryce would deliver transplant organs to hospitals, helping to save people’s lives. It was just like Bryce to do this. He also provided elite passenger and executive transport, which allowed him to meet many well-known people. Bryce also taught ground school so that he could share his passion for flying and help others to master this incredible skill.
Bryce had an incredible memory, a very sharp intellect, and a love of learning. He was also an exceptionally skilled communicator and an excellent storyteller. He employed these gifts to the great benefit of others throughout his career as a social service executive at United Way, as a pilot, as a flight instructor, and in his many volunteer roles. Bryce was a man who loved life. He had a heart for adventure, a capacity for wonder and a love of learning. Bryce also loved the water. Some of his favorite times were spent on his boat and enjoying the company of his friends. He also obtained his open-water scuba diving certification and was thrilled when he got to swim with the sharks in open water while traveling to Mexico. His other hobbies included riding his Harley motorcycles, RV, golfing and traveling. Bryce was a devout Catholic and Eucharistic minister at St. Louis Catholic Church in Memphis. A devoted son, brother, uncle and friend. There was nothing in the world that meant more to him than his faith, and family.
Bryce was preceded in death by his father, Vernon, and his mother, Eva, and a younger brother, Larry, who died at the age of eight after open heart surgery. He is survived by two sisters, Theresa (Dennis) Champoux and Denise (Roger) Moore, both of Yakima. He also leaves behind nieces and nephews, and their children: Valerie (Paul) North, Angela (Russell) Sypowicz, David Champoux, Adam (Jackie) Moore, Julie (JD) Ross, Kristi (Nate) Stalsbroten and Curtis Moore. Mass of Christian Burial will be said at St.Paul Cathedral at 10:00 AM, Saturday, October 16, 2021. Inurnment will follow at Calvary Cemetery in Yakima. Stream www.facebook.com/StPaulCathedralYakima; not on facebook, www.stpaulyakima.org. Langevin El Paraiso Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Sympathy and condolence cards can be sent to Langevin El Paraiso Funeral Home, www.lepfuneralhome.com.
Bryce Dennis Haugsdahl
October 15, 2021
I have known Bryce since first grade. We both went over to Eisenhower HS from CentraL Catholic. He was a great guy. I was not surprised to read about how full of a life he lead.