More detail on this person: Robert L. Haskell, 55, plane crash victim LEBANON -- Robert L. Haskell, 55, of 34 Clover Drive died Tuesday as the result of an airplane accident in Union Twp. He was a retired Army major, a Vietnam War veteran and the recipient of a Bronze Star and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry; and a graduate of Cedar Crest High School and the University of Denver. He was a member, treasurer, usher, council member and Sunday school teacher of the Church of the Good Shepherd, where he was team leader of the Appalachian Service Project, volleyball coach, and a member of the bowling team and Men's Koinonia Group; a coach of Odyssey of the Mind and the JETS junior engineering team and a Renaissance Program volunteer at Cedar Crest High School; treasurer and construction supervisor of Habitat for Humanity and a board member of its Lebanon County branch; and served with the Buffalo Springs Aviation Group. Surviving are his wife, Carolyn A. Sanger Haskell; two daughters, Sabrina Ann and Melanie, both at home; two brothers, Keith L. Jr. of Cleveland, Texas and Bruce of Sonyea, N.Y.; and two sisters, Emaline Thorn of Savannah, N.Y., and Thelma Buck of Waterloo, N.Y. Services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday in Kreamer Funeral Home, Annville. Burial, with military honors, will be in Indiantown Gap National Cemetery. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday in the funeral home. Memorial donations may be made to Appalachian Service Project or Habitat for Humanity, both c/o his church, 1500 Quentin Road, Lebanon 17042. Robert Haskell: Dedication remembered // Resolve to help others earned pilot place in hearts LEBANON -- Tools in hand, Robert Haskell gave people his skills and his time. On Tuesday afternoon, Haskell, 55, died doing one of the things he loved. He was flying his single-engine airplane when it crashed in a field just west of Jonestown. Flying was one of Haskell's passions, along with building houses for the poor. He had served as a pilot in Vietnam and retired from the Army 10 years ago. In the years since, he gave to others. "He was very passionate about housing for low-income people -- Lebanon or Appalachia, it didn't matter," said the Rev. Ronald Waite, pastor of Lebanon's Church of the Good Shepherd. Dave Funk, of Arthur Funk and Sons builders, said Haskell was a key volunteer with Habitat for Humanity of Lebanon. Haskell helped build four of Habitat's six houses here. "This is a tremendous loss to our program. Tremendous," said Funk, who is also a Habitat volunteer. Haskell, a self-taught carpenter, led a group of retired workers, building Habitat houses on Wednesdays. "I just can't work on Wednesdays anymore without him," Funk said of Haskell. "This was a tough one for me. I spent a lot of time last night trying to absorb this," said Robert Mease of Lebanon, one of several church members who went to Appalachia with Haskell in past years. "Robert was like my big brother." Haskell's friends called him Robert. His name was another of his passions. "He was very strict about that. He didn't like the name Bob," said Phil Snell of Lebanon, a church member. "He wanted to be called Robert. He said to call him Robert because that's what was on his birth certificate. He was very disciplined." Mease said it was not easy to change Haskell's mind. "He had convictions," Mease said. "There were some who couldn't tolerate this." Haskell made friends and maybe a few foes. "If you looked beyond that, he had a heart of gold," Mease said. "He was a guy who was always there." One friend said Haskell built a fireplace for him. He did it out of friendship, never expecting anything in return. Haskell had tools for every project. Three weeks ago, friends helped Haskell and his family move into a new home south of the city. They moved two trailers loaded with tools that barely fit in his garage. "If you needed a tool and Robert didn't have it," Mease said, "that means they just made it last week." Haskell shopped at garage sales, yard sales, flea markets, anywhere there were tools. "I think he had every tool you could imagine," Waite said. "You name it, he had it." Friends stopped by yesterday to console Haskell's widow, Carolyn, and two daughters, Sabrina Ann, a sophomore at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, and Melanie, a junior at Cedar Crest High School. They found parts of the house still under construction. They also found Robert Haskell's tools, still there in the house where he left them.
Burial information: Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, Annville, PA
This information was last updated 09/03/2018
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Date posted on this site: 04/14/2021
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