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John Haines

John Gilbert Haines, age 85, of Willmar, passed away Wednesday evening, Dec. 11, 2019, at his home.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 21, at Calvary Lutheran Church in Willmar.  Visitation will be held on Friday, Dec. 20, from 5-7 p.m. at Peterson Brothers Funeral Home and will continue for one hour prior to the service at the church.  A private interment at Calvary Lutheran Cemetery will be held at a later date.  ln lieu of flowers, memorials to Rice Hospice or Calvary Lutheran Church are preferred.  www.petersonbrothers.com

John Gilbert Haines was born on May 1, 1934, in Willmar, Minnesota, the son of Walter and Marie (Bakken) Haines of Willmar.  He grew up in Willmar, and was baptized and confirmed at Calvary Lutheran Church.  John attended Lafayette Elementary School and graduated from Willmar High School in 1952.  He attended the University of Minnesota and graduated with a degree in Business Administration.  On August 2, 1958, John was united in marriage to Donna Jeanne Meline of Lindstrom, Minnesota.  They lived in Willmar for their entire 61 years of marriage.

John initially worked for the Minnesota Department of Transportation.  In 1963, John took a job with Kandiyohi County as a caseworker for the Family Services Department, which sparked a long and enjoyable career in Social Services.  After an intensive year of training in family therapy with Virginia Satir, John worked as a School Social Worker for the Educational Research and Development Council from 1967-1970.  In 1970, he returned to Kandiyohi County as Social Services Supervisor.  He was appointed Director of the Family Service Department in 1973 and served in that capacity until his retirement in 1997.

John served as President of the Minnesota Association of County Social Service Administrator, and was given their annual Human Service award in 1997.  He was recognized by the Minnesota Association of Community Mental Health Programs for Community and Board Leadership in 1984 and 1996.  John received the Minnesota Social Service Association Outstanding Staff Achievement Award in 1997.

John was a lifetime member of Calvary Lutheran Church where he was a Sunday School Teacher, Choir Member, Bethel Bible Series teacher, Church Council member, and Chair of the Church Council.  In recent years he enjoyed the Tuesday morning Men’s Bible Study.  John was part of the Faith Chest team at Calvary, staining and finishing over 400 Faith Chests.

John served as chair of the following Boards: Woodland Centers, West Central Industries, Project Turnabout, Willmar Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Department of Human Resources Gambling Treatment Program, and the Foot Lake Association.  He served as President of the Lakeland Toastmasters Club.  He also served on the Board of Gull Engineering in Edina.

John greatly enjoyed golfing (including a hole-in-one in 1989), his book club, traveling, and enjoying his grandchildren.   During the Christmas season, John made hundreds of rosettes using his grandmother Bakken’s rosette iron and recipe.  He was a dedicated fan of the Minnesota Gophers and Minnesota Vikings.

John is survived by his wife, Donna; son, Bob (and Dona) Haines of Willmar; daughter, Susan (and Mark) Ruchie of Edina; grandchildren Ryan, Ethan, and Carly Haines, and Elvy Ruchie; Sister, Helen Sullivan of Willmar; Sister-in Law, Marilyn Meline of Stanton; nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Marie (Bakken) Haines.

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My Sympathy

Mary Louise Wallin Dec 21 2019 12:00 AM

I work for the Minnesota Department of Human Services and knew John all of the years that he was Director of Kandiyohi County Family Services.He assisted us in a number of projects as the "county expert." Truly a fine, caring, honest and forthright individual! He was arare and real treat to work with...And,for several years afterhe retired, he continued to bring me the yearly holiday "gift" of his rosettes. I'm not Scandinavian, but my husband is--andhe said that they were the best--even better than his own mother's!! My sincere condolences to John's family,Betty Carlson (from the Minnesota Merit System here at DHS)

Betty Carlson Dec 19 2019 12:00 AM

I worked in the management office at John and Donna's downtown Minneapolis home for several years and got to know John as an incredibly caring, wise individual who would never hesitate to stop in and say hello, catch up, or ask how I was doing. We didn't know each other too closely, but it was always clear that John was a stand-up fellow with a really caring heart. Donna, I am so sorry for your loss, and give my condolences on behalf of all of the 1225 LaSalle management team. I hope you take good care.

Taman Eggers Dec 17 2019 12:00 AM

Where do I begin?! I grew up with the Haines family. You were part of my live for so long. The rosettes were always a real treat for our family. I will always remember John as a strong silent presence in my life. A man who showed his love with a warm smile and a gentle word. God bless the Haines family. You are deeply loved and cherished.

Becky Emgel Dec 17 2019 12:00 AM

Growing up in Calvary Lutheran Mr Haines, John, was one of those fine, honorable, Christian gentlemen I looked up to, admired, and aspired to become as man of faith. John set a great example! I imagine his faith and moral character influenced many lives! I proclaim a victory of new life for John and pray blessings upon his family and friends.

Rev David Forsberg Dec 13 2019 12:00 AM

Rest in Peace! We all have so many special memories of you!With love from Falkoping SwedenIngrid & Yngve, Gunilla, Thomas, David & Johan, Marita, Peder, Charles, Cecilia & Michelle, Conny, Ulrica, Amina & Lovisa

Ingrid & Yngve, Gunilla, Thomas, David & Johan, Marita, Peder, Charles, Cecilia & Michelle, Conny, Ulrica, Amina & Lovisa Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Our sympathies. Our mom considered him a good friend and the best of bosses, and we enjoyed getting to know him too over the years.Mary Beth Molenaar and Mitch Rosenfeld, Jim and Laura Molenaar

Mary Beth Molenaar and Mitch Rosenfeld, Jim and Laura Molenaar Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Donna, Bob, Dona, Susi, Mark, and beloved grandkids,We are so sorry for your loss. John was the sweetest uncle, a great man. Prayers and love to you.With love from Maureen, Brian & Pearl

With love from Maureen, Brian & Pearl Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM