Harold Haberman, 100, of Oshkosh, passed away peacefully with family and friends by his side on January 17, 2020 at the Regional West Garden County Hospital in Oshkosh.
Memorial Services will be held later.
Holechek-Bondegard Funeral Home and Cremations in Oshkosh is serving the Haberman family.
Harold was born the eighth and final child of Jacob and Molly Haberman on November 2, 1919, in York, Nebraska. Harold attended York College while working at his brother’s grocery store. He was a three-sport collegiate athlete lettering each year in football, basketball, and track. He especially excelled in football where he played both defensive back and wide receiver positions. The 100- and 200-yard dash and low and high hurdles were his signature track events. His coaches considered Harold an outstanding leader both on and off the field. Harold graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1941 and a dream to teach and coach.
Harold met Carmen Ware while at York College and the couple was married from 1942 – 1946. Their daughter Konnie was born in 1943.
Harold enlisted in the U.S. Army in May 1942 during World War II and was immediately deployed to the Army Air Corps for flight training in Texas. After training, Harold was stationed at the 1326th Army Air Force Base in Laimanir Hat India. He flew the C46 aircraft carrier, which mainly hauled cargo, but occasionally carried Chinese soldiers. Harold was assigned to fly the hazardous India to China route called The Hump. The plane was ill equipped with navigation equipment and the flight path took him over the Himalayas where there was always violent turbulence and inclement weather. Harold was awarded the Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1945. He had achieved the rank of 1st Lieutenant upon his honorable discharge in March 1946.
Harold then returned to Nebraska and obtained a Masters of Education degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1949. He taught and coached several different sports in eastern Nebraska for a few years before moving to Oshkosh, Nebraska, where he met and fell in love with Marjorie Ferrell. The couple was united in marriage on August 8, 1964, in Oshkosh. They welcomed Margaret Ann, their only child, in 1967.
Harold enjoyed a long and fulfilling career as a teacher, coach, and administrator. He considered teaching and coaching his “dream job” and achieved much success in all areas of his career. Harold cared deeply for his students and coached his athletes to many victories. During his tenure coaching football for Garden County High School, his record was 63-15-2. In 1960, Garden County H.S. was ranked either number 1 or number 2 (depending on what paper you read), with several top 10 team finishes during those years. He continued coaching through 1963. He became an administrator at Garden County High School, eventually serving as superintendent for many years until his retirement in 1976.
After his retirement from teaching, Harold farmed for more than 20 years at the family ranch.
He was inducted in the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame as a player and a coach in 1993.
Harold recently celebrated his 100th birthday with an outpouring of love from many family, friends, and former students and athletes. He said it was truly one of his best days.
He was preceded in death by his wife Marjorie, parents, four brothers, and three sisters. He is survived by daughters Konnie (Andrew) Gault, Santa Barbara, California, and Margaret Ann (Stan) Baker, and grandsons Jacob Ferrell Baker and Samuel Harold Baker, Centennial, Colorado, along with many nieces and nephews.
Memorials are suggested to the Regional West Garden County Health Services Foundation Fund and will be designated for nursing home activities, 1100 West 2nd Street, Oshkosh, Nebraska 69154.