Robert Eugene Haag left this world April 13, 2018, surrounded by his loving family. He was 82 years old.
Robert was known for his entrepreneurial spirit and tireless work ethic.
Robert is survived by his wife of 60 years, Delores, his three sons, Richard (Robbie) Haag, Eudora, Randall (Lisa) Haag, and Ronald (Robin) Haag; five grandchildren, Chad (Jessica) of Kansas City; Dakota, Clay, Tira and Cassidy all of Topeka; great-granddaughter, Ellen, Kansas City; two sisters, Deaun of Horse Bend, AR; Lavern (Bill) of Irving, TX; his brother Jerry (Sylvia) of Olpe and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his mother, father, and two brothers Bill and Denny.
Robert was born in Olpe, Kansas to Nicholas and Evelyn Haag on March 14, 1936. He was the oldest of six siblings: Deaun Haag Wilson, Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas: Lavern Haag Howell (Bill) Irving, Texas: Jerry Haag (Sylvia) Olpe: Bill Haag and Denny Haag. Robert, being the oldest sibling quickly learned the value of good work ethics and entrepreneurship.
He began his schooling in a one room school house in the Maydale area. Often he would ride a horse to school. Yes, there was a wood stove, cold lunches and outdoor toilet. When the family moved to Olpe, Robert attended the Catholic Grade School in Olpe High School. Throughout his high school years, Robert played Basketball and baseball. Even though Robert was short (by todays standards) he was one of the stars of the team. However, his greatest love was baseball. He graduated from Olpe High School in 1954. He was then immediately drafted by the Washington Senators. Off he went to training camp. He surely had versions of someday being a star baseball player. Shortly after starting training camp he broke his foot and had to return to Olpe to heal. During his recovery he decided that in Olpe he was a star baseball player but at training camp there were many much better than him. So he made the decision to remain in Olpe with his father in the dairy farm.
After his ankle healed he joined a recreational baseball team. He spent many weekends playing on the team, and enjoying the companionship with his fellow team mates. He never lost his love of sports. Until his death, he actively followed all major sporting events throughout his life. Everything was scheduled around the time when the Royals, Chiefs, KU, K-State etc. played.
With the dreams of being a star baseball player crushed, Robert began the first of his many entrepreneurial endeavors. He started purchasing dairy cattle thus starting his own herd, He also started the first of many entrepreneurial adventures nutria. As the years went by the other adventures included raising rabbits, pigs, Pigeons and ostriches.
In 1957 Robert met a country girl from Peabody, Kansas. They went on a blind date that was arranged by one of Robert’s friends. The first attraction between them was the fact that Delores came from a farm and had driven John Deere Tractors and Robert’s beautiful blue eyes and his last name was Haag. Delores’ sister was married to a Hague. After a year of courtship the couple were married October 11, 1958 at Sacred Heart Church in Emporia, Kansas.
The couple settled on a farm located in Olpe, Kansas. Robert’s small dairy herd was moved to their farm. Robert continued to work with his dad with the farming operations.
To this union was born 3 children: Richard Eugene, Randall Edward and Ronald Wayne. Living on a farm and raising 3 children became a full time job.
In 1959, Robert decided to sell his dairy herd and start a Registered Angus Herd. He built a show barn that was used to groom and house some of the prize bulls and heifers. Later he began showing his registered Angus at the Mid-America Fair (located in Topeka- no longer in existence), Kansas State Farm and the American Royal. He won many awards. The one he was the proudest of was the year he won the Grand Champion Bull and Reserve Champion Female at the Mid-America Fair. He followed this right up the next week with the Grand Champion Female and Reserve Champion Bull at the Kansas State Fair. That record was and never will be broken. The Mid-American fair is no longer in existence.
Robert spent many hours golfing and hunting coons. When he lived in Olpe, The golf course was located by the Emporia airport. Seeing the planes landing and taking off, sparked a love of aviation. Robert decided to take pilot lessons. He purchased a Cessna airplane. Many hours were spent enjoying that plane. Often the family would pack up and head somewhere for the week-end. His son, Rick attended the School for the Deaf in Olathe. He was a member of the football team. Robert would fly to the next opponent’s school and pick up a video of the team. He became known as The Kansas School for the Deaf’s private pilot. At the award banquet, he was given a special award. Whenever the team played out of town the family would fly to the location and watch Rick play football. He and Delores became known as Mom and Dad to the entire team.
In 1965, Robert began working as an insurance agent. He spent many hours visiting clients. This job lead Robert into working for the Pictorial Times. He would fly the plane to work in Topeka every day and then fly it back to Emporia at night. Because he was gone so much from the home in Olpe and spent more and more time in Topeka, it was decided that family would sell the farm in Olpe and move to Topeka. In 1970 the family located on a small farm near Topeka. The registered Angus Herd moved along as well. Robert began working as a representative for the Limousine Journal. His territory was mid America and mid Canadian states and providences. This job utilized his plane and flying ability. While working in this position, Robert was able to negotiate bringing the first Limousine Bull name Colonel into America from Canada. Because of this introduction, the Limousine breed has become an well established breed of cattle in America.
His pilot abilities and owning a plane opened a position as a pilot for the BRB Contractors located in Topeka. He flew representatives from BRB all over Mid-America. After flying 9990 hours he decided he was burned out and decided to quit that job.
Robert then started a satellite company. He hired a man to help him with this job. On week-ends, Rick, Randy, and Ron helped him. They had to pour concrete slabs to anchor the satellites. While installing a satellite for a lady she asked if he could pour a sidewalk. So they began pouring sidewalks as well. Then one day a man asked if they could pour a basement. So Robert, Randy, and Ron arrived with their forms and began to set up their first basement. Not a one of them had any knowledge as to go about setting up a basement. No job was ever too big for Robert to conquer. Interestingly that basement is still standing.
Thus began the birth of R&H Concrete, Inc. In 1988 the company was incorporated Delores became the secretary and Randy and Ron decided to become a part of the company as well. The company was based out of the house located in Topeka. In 1990 the company moved to Lawrence.
Robert’s value of good work ethics provided the foundation for a very successful business. Robert was well respected and provided each customer with excellent service. His greatest love was to spend Sunday afternoon driving all over Lawrence pointing out the projects R&H Concrete had done or was doing. He was very proud of the work the company provided. When asked what his hobby was, Robert would always reply the business. This only demonstrates his devotion and determination to make R&H Concrete the company that it is today. Robert remained as CEO of the company until January 2016. Due to his declining health Robert retired and Randy and Ron have continued managing the company. Until his death, whenever needed, Robert remained as consultant for the company.
Robert always had a story or joke to tell. No matter what the situation, Robert was able to generate a joke and lighten the moment with his story or joke. Robert never met a stranger. He would always ask people where they were from. Usually somewhere in the conversation Olpe, Robert’s home town, would come up along with the “Chicken House.”
Robert was a member of the Concrete Foundation and Lawrence Home Builders Association.
Memorial services will be at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at Parker-Price Cremations, Funerals & Receptions. Private inurnment was at Grantville Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Helping Hands Humane Society.
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