Others should work for Glendive like John Haase did
I never got to know John Haase that well despite living next door to him most my life. I didn’t grow to know and love his sons, Michael and Bradley, until 2009. Despite never knowing John like his sons do, I can feel the pain in their eyes and voices, and it hurts me to see them hurt. That’s why I’m writing this. As a writer, my words are mostly all I have to offer, and while they might not always have a monetary value, I hope those who read them will find a different sort of value.
In every conversation or argument I had with John, it was evident what he cherished most: his family and community. He would do anything for his family and proved it over and over. He was a good father and grandfather, and it saddens me that his granddaughters won’t spend another Christmas or birthday laughing over board games with him.
John was also an entrepreneur who provided for his family, turning a job delivering packages into two of his own businesses. Roofs all over Glendive will forever have a piece of John upon them and those whom he employed will forever remember him as a good boss whose laugh infected and inspired all of those within earshot. I was one of those employees. When I came back to Glendive from college over the summer, John gave me a part-time job on his roofing crew, for which I’m forever grateful.
When I heard the Haases and the Fixmers were buying the Oasis, I was hopeful for the first time that downtown Glendive would get the facelift it’s needed for decades. John didn’t half-ass anything, and his renovation of the Oasis is living proof of that.
John was also generous. He filled potholes in Forest Park on his own time and with his own dime. Besides my own family members, John and Peggy were the first to make a large donation to the Glendive Ice Foundation to grow ice sports in Glendive. That donation allowed us to purchase a liner for an Olympic ice rink that we expect to be available and groomed daily at the Dawson County Fairgrounds next winter. We could have purchased a smaller liner and settled for a smaller rink, but John didn’t do anything small, and his sons will continue that good work.
If every one of us were as dedicated to improving the quality of living in Glendive as John was, it would be the nicest place to live in the world. So while you might have never met John Haase, I hope this letter leaves you motivated by the life he lived and the good he did.