NEW BEDFORD — John Haaland, Jr., 77, of Fairhaven, MA, passed away peacefully due to complications from Alzheimers on April 22nd, 2020 at St. Luke’s Hospital, with his loving family by his side.
He was born in Brooklyn, New York on February 16th, 1943 to the late John and Magna Haaland. John loved the town of Fairhaven and served for almost his entire adult life as an educator, active citizen, coach, and loyal fan. A 1960 graduate of Fairhaven High School, John graduated from New Bedford Institution of Technology (now UMass-Dartmouth) in 1964 with a BS in Electrical Engineering. He also received a Masters Degree in Secondary School Administration from Bridgewater State College in 1972 and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) in Systems and Development Adaptation from Boston University in 1976.
John worked as a cook for almost 20 years at A&W while teaching in Fairhaven and could be heard calling “Order Up” all the time. He retired from Fairhaven Public Schools (1964-2001) where he taught physics, chemistry, oceanography, biology, and mathematics before becoming vice principal at Hastings Middle School and then Fairhaven High School. He also taught at St. Joseph School for a short time after his public school career to return to his true love, teaching. His students enjoyed his humor, charm, and entertaining teaching tactics, such as when he’d incorporate his daughter’s driving abilities in his Physics tests. John was known for his loyalty to family, friends, and causes and had an upbeat, happy personality. He favorably impacted thousands of people. His grandchildren will cherish the many photos he loved taking of their performances and sporting events throughout their lives.
John was honored at the 2001 FHS Hall of Fame ceremony for many years of service to the students and community of Fairhaven. He coached his son’s Little/Pony League baseball teams and daughter’s high school track teams. He was instrumental in producing the Playbills for his daughter’s Sound of Music and King and I high school productions. He also advised the FHS Chess and Interact Clubs. John was named a Paul Harris Fellow through the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International for his tangible and significant assistance. The biggest Blue Devil fan, John could be found at almost every FHS contest home or away cheering on the students who were a great part of his professional life.
John served his town as a member of the Fairhaven Council on Aging, Fairhaven Cable Advisory Committee, Fairhaven Recreation Committee, and as a long-standing Town Meeting member. He was the past president of the Fairhaven Teachers’ Association and member of the Contract Negotiation Team, and chairman of the Steering committee to prepare for the 1990-92 evaluation of the FHS NEASC. He belonged to a number of organizations including Fairhaven Educators’ Association, Fairhaven Gridiron Club, Music Parents (now FAME), Fairhaven Rotary Club, Fairhaven All-Sports Boosters Club, Massachusetts Teachers Association, Massachusetts Secondary Schools Administrators Association, and various national professional organizations.
John went on the trip of his lifetime with his dad in April 1991 to Norway to visit his parents’ birthplace.
John is survived by his loving wife, Bena (Sylvia) Haaland and two children: daughter Jo-Anne Charette and her husband Daniel; and son John Haaland and his wife. He is survived by eight grandchildren: Megan Haaland Kolb and her husband, Benjamin; Morgan Haaland and partner Cameron Morin; Alexandra Charette, Danielle Charette, and Max Charette; John Tucker Haaland; Amy Charette and boyfriend Alex Dorsky; and Sara Farias and husband Nicholas. He is survived by two great-grandchildren, Paxten and Sawyer Kolb. John is survived by one brother, Terence Haaland and nephews Joshua Haaland and Terence Haaland.
In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by brother Harry Haaland and sister Margaret Haaland.
The family would like to thank Our Lady’s Haven, St. Luke’s Hospital-Wilkes floor and St. Anne’s Hospital staff for their professionalism and kindness.
Due to the restrictions on public gatherings, his funeral services will be held at a later date. For the online guestbook, please visit john-haaland.forevermissed.com.