In Memory of Howard Haigh

Howard Junior Haigh

Howard Haigh, 78, of Asbury died Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in Dubuque. The visitation will be held Monday, April 10 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Hoffmann Schneider & Kitchen Funeral Home, 3860 Asbury Road, Dubuque, Iowa.  A Celebration of Life and burial at Oakland Cemetery in Iowa City, IA will take place at a later date. 

Howard was born in Manchester, Iowa on March 21,1945 to Howard Lain Haigh and Ula Juanita (Bacon) Haigh. He graduated from West Delaware High School in 1963 where he participated in football, wrestling, golf, and theater. 

Howard attended the University of Iowa. In 1967, he entered the workforce and then enrolled in the United States Army. He spent six months training in Ft. Holabird in Baltimore, Maryland at the military intelligence school. He served in Vietnam from 1968-1969 as military intelligence officer with the 525th military intelligence group, followed by a year in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina with the Continental Intelligence Command. 

Howard earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa, in 1971. He earned his graduate degree from the University of Northern Iowa in 1972. He worked for one year at Ft. Dodge Community College. In 1973, he began his career with the Iowa Department of Human Services in Cedar Rapids, IA. He was employed as a social worker, youth service worker, supervisor, and Family Therapist. 

Howard married Susan Davison on April 28,1979 in Iowa City. Following their time living in North Carolina and  Mount Vernon, Iowa, they moved to Dubuque where Howard started his career with Hillcrest Family Services.There he served as a social worker, supervisor, and eventually Director of Adult Mental Health Services where he developed and administered clinics and facilities in Eastern Iowa. 

Howard was a skilled therapist, a strong and gentle leader; and appreciated by staff and administration. He received two awards for leadership: The Iowa Association of Community Providers and the Nancy Hill Award for Service and Leadership. Following retirement, he continued his work with Hillcrest in mission advancement until 2020. 

He also served as the President and member of the Dubuque Mental Health Association; received training for family therapy from Mental Health Institute in Palo Alto, California. He was a member of the Phi Delta Kappa and a member of the state Mental Health Advisory Board with Magellan. 

Howard had many interests and hobbies and was known for his lifelong love of sailing. Whether he was boating on Lake McBride with family and friends, navigating destroyers with the United States Navy Reserve, chartering on the Great lakes, or steering a retired America’s cup ship in Australia, he had a delighted smile with each adventure. His joy extended to teaching Sue, his daughters, and grandchildren these skills. 

Woodworking was another passion, he and a childhood friend built two wooden sailboats together. They also were working on a larger version of their original, but probably most enjoyed the planning aspects. Howard, his father, and brothers worked together to help build Howard and Sue’s first home. Later Howard could be found teaching his grandchildren how to build wooden cars, boats, airplanes, or anything else that they could imagine. 

Building and testing model rockets was another interest. The only rule was to make sure that the Federal Aviation Administration knew when they were set off. His goal was to build a rocket that would reach the speed of sound. 

Howard was an avid reader, on topics of history, economics, Egyptology, opera or other eclectic interests. He could discuss anything  and was truly a “renaissance man” in his learning and conversations especially with his coffee groups. He loved a good discussion, and one could see that twinkle in his eye when he was about to make a point. 

Howard was a strong liberal and good Democrat; he served as a delegate at county conventions and often served on the Democratic platform committee.  He was Sue’s dear partner in promoting the Palestinian cause and he was proud of that heritage and culture. The annual Palestinian dinners for family and friends were filled with Middle Eastern food, music, comradery, and all looked forward to his special preparation of the roast lamb. 

He and Sue took many wonderful trips across the world. One of his greatest joys was watching his daughters as they explored Europe for the first time. Other favorite trips included, a month living in Paris, Russia, trips to meet Sue’s family in Palestine, and meeting his new grandchildren in Korea. The annual family time in Florida, Door County, and the Smoky Mountains, offered time to be with Sue, his beloved daughters, wonderful son- in-laws and delightful grandchildren. After retirement they would winter in Gulf Shores, Alabama along with many good friends and family. Watching his entire family playing on the beach were such special memories for him. 

His true love was for his family. He was the most beloved and best friend to Sue, his wife of nearly 44 years. He was adored by his two daughters Sara and Shannon, and he was so proud of them. He was a gentle, safe, and caring influence and had a delightful and creative sense of humor. He taught his daughters and grandchildren to play chess, to sail, the joy of exploring the world, as well as the important lessons of life.  He was a good friend to his family, to his sons-in-law and to all who knew him. His quiet gentleness, wisdom and unconditional love will be so missed. 

Howard is survived by wife Sue Davison, daughters, Sara (Mike) Wiedemann, Shannon (John) Davison-Wiese, four grandchildren, Nicholas and Addison Wiedemann, Alex and Madelyn Wiese; a brother, Hartsel (Kitty) Haigh; sister, Ulaine (Harry) Delancey, sister- in-law, Anne Davison; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Ula (Bacon) Haigh and his brother, Hubert (Lynn) Haigh. 

Thank you to so many people for the supportive care of Howard during his illness. To our amazing family and lifelong friends;  our dear personal health staff of Chloe, Rachel, Abby, Steph, Caitlin, Avery and also to Lisa, Susan, Mary, Rosa, Gretchen, Alex, John, Tammi, Tori, Theresa and the many others that made this difficult journey easier. 

Sail gently on, our sweet Howard…