Cover photo for John Michael Haas's Obituary
John Michael Haas Profile Photo
1935 John 2024

John Michael Haas

February 7, 1935 — March 11, 2024

Denver, CO

                             Col. John Michael Haas, M.D.

                             February 7, 1935 – March 11, 2024

 John Michael Haas passed away peacefully on March 11, 2024.

 He was married to Doris (Dodie) for 63 years before her death in October 2021, and is survived by children Mimi, Pam (Steve), John C. (Amy), and Christopher (Cory), and five much loved grandchildren:  Brooke, Keely, Sebastian, Mason, and Max, who each called him Papa.

 John was born February 7, 1935, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the second of six children, to Mina Mravik and Jack Haas.  Educated by Jesuits, he was always studious and hardworking.  As a youth, he spent summers working with his uncle’s construction company developing the skills of a craftsman which he applied to both hobby and “no, we don’t need to hire someone” projects through his life.  He graduated from Marquette University in 1955, where he met Dodie, and Marquette Medical School in 1959.

 John and Dodie married June 21, 1958.  Upon graduation from medical school, John enlisted in the United States Army to complete his medical training and was stationed at the premier United States military hospital, Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.  During the following 20 years, John had a stellar career as a United States Army officer and cardiologist.  Following Walter Reed, John was stationed at Martin Army Hospital at Fort Benning, Georgia, Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado, Madigan Army Medical Center at Fort Lewis, Washington, and back again to Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center.   Notably, he attained the rank of Colonel before the age of 40.

 In 1976, John received the prestigious appointment of Chief of Medicine at Landstuhl Medical Center in Germany, the United States largest military hospital outside of the United States.  To this day, Landstuhl Medical Center remains the military’s flagship treatment center for service members wounded overseas.  Instead, however, he chose the position of Chief of Cardiology at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Colorado and settled the family into their much loved, non-military base home in Greenwood Village.  Soon thereafter, John and Dodie added a mountain retreat to their lives in Dillon, Colorado where they relaxed with family and friends whenever they could.

 After retirement from the Army in 1979, John joined Aurora Denver Cardiology Associates.  In 1981, he became the first physician in Colorado to perform the then-revolutionary procedure of a heart coronary angioplasty, for which he found himself the center of a glowing Denver Post article.  In 1997, after many years of late night “on-calls” and heading back to the hospital, John retired from Aurora Denver Cardiology to enjoy some much-deserved rest and relaxation.

 When John was not busy with work or family, he was often busy with one home project or another.  As a young father, he refinished furniture for his children’s bedrooms and even rebuilt a stand-up piano, as seen in the old west, including replacing the ivory keys.   When his adult children had their own homes, John was often called upon to repair, build or paint something or another for them.  After 40 years of reading medical journals, John discovered the joy of reading fiction and became a regular visitor to his nearby library.  He conquered the newspaper crossword puzzle each morning and enjoyed challenging jigsaw puzzles so much the grandkids jokingly called him “jig-Pa.”

 John also had a fantastic “green thumb” and passion for gardening.   While in the military, he was honored with the much-coveted distinction of “Yard of the Year” on numerous occasions.   In Denver, he moved on to raising spectacular orchids, experimented with grafting fruit trees, and planted vegetable gardens.  In retirement, he and Dodie spent the winter months with their King Charles Cavalier, Rascal, at their home in the mountains outside Tucson, Arizona where he created a beautiful desert garden hosting a wide variety of cactus, flowering vines, and citrus trees.  When the grandchildren visited, he thrilled them with squeezing fresh orange and grapefruit juice.

 Along with enjoying time with their grandchildren, spending time in Arizona was the highlight of John and Dodie’s retirement.  Golfing was a life-long passion of John’s, and he was a formidable player.  While he enjoyed golfing 2-3 times each week, Dodie enjoyed the pool and friends both old and new.  They drove around their retirement golf community in their golf cart which bore their individual names emblazoned on each side; lest some other retired person get in the wrong golf cart.

 Late in life, John faced medical challenges of his own undergoing open-heart surgery in 2013.  In 2019, suffering from empyema and upon being advised he had no more than three months to live, went to hospice at Brookdale Senior Living.   He stubbornly did not die and after six months was moved into assisted living where he lived for another four years.  He enjoyed leaving Brookdale to spend holidays and special occasions with his kids, grandkids, their dogs, and pet chickens.  The dogs especially loved his visits as he was a pushover with treats and table food; the pet chickens, on the other hand, he enjoyed shooting from afar with a squirt bottle.

 John will be sadly missed by his family and remembered as a man of few words, who led by example, and most easily showed his love by providing countless opportunities to his family.  He leaves his kids and grandchildren with innumerable memories of many vacations which Dodie planned and for which he paid.

 John’s funeral service will be held at Most Precious Blood Church, 2200 South Harrison St., Denver CO 80210, on May 14 at 10 a.m. with reception to follow.

 Throughout their lives, John and Dodie shared their good fortunes with many non-profit organizations.  In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to his fellow military service members through the Wounded Warrior Project or the Disabled American Veterans.

In memory of John Michael Haas, please consider making a donation to one of the following charities:

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, May 14, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Mountain time)

Most Precious Blood Catholic Church

2200 S Harrison St, Denver, CO 80210

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Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

Most Precious Blood Catholic Church

2200 S Harrison St, Denver, CO 80210

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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