Charles R. Haaf, Sr. of Woodstown, NJ passed very peacefully to the Lord late Sunday evening, April 8, 2018, at the age of 96. Charles enjoyed a healthy, blessed, simple life defined by a modest set of rules that always required discipline and order, not unlike many from “the greatest generation.”
Born in Elmer, September 23, 1921 to Edna VanMeter Atkinson Haaf and George Raymond Haaf, his youth was spent in Tenali, India where his father, a Lutheran Minister, was commissioned a missionary to build a school and educate the children, instruct adults in advanced agricultural techniques, while preaching the Christian faith. Charles and his family returned to the United States in 1928 and his mother died at 46 when he was only 10.
Charles attended Daretown School, graduated from Woodstown High School with his future wife of 63 years, Helen Buzby. He worked briefly for Owens-Illinois before enlisting and serving with the U.S. Marines during WWII as part of the occupation of Okinawa, the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific War. Like so many of that great generation, he rarely spoke of his deployment other than to say, “It was a horrible event, never to be repeated.” Returning home he used his training as an electronics technician to begin a career with RCA Service Company, but many knew Charles through his business, C&H TV which he founded and retired from in 1986. In 2007, he was awarded the Salem County Military Service Award and on Veterans Day, 2014 he was honored as Woodstown Veteran of the Year.
Instilled in him from his childhood experiences in India, he became an avid sportsman and expert tracker continuing to hunt into his 90’s. He was a member of the Obissquasoit Bowmen, Quinton Sportsman Club and Jersey 3 Square Deer Club. He was an Exempt Member of the Reliance Fire Company.
Predeceased by his wife, Helen Buzby Haaf in 2001, a brother, Summerfield, two sisters, Ethel Mooney and Barbara Christian and two grandchildren, Jeffrey Sewell and Jeffrey Haaf. He is survived by half-brothers, John and Robert Haaf, his four children, E. Jean Sewell, Charles R. Haaf, Jr. (Marie), Thomas P. Haaf (Therese) and Donald Gary Haaf (Sue), as well as fourteen grandchildren, thirty great grandchildren and ten great-great grandchildren.
A memorial graveside service will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, April 21st at Finn’s Point National Cemetery in Pennsville, NJ, with military honors. All are welcome to attend. Please visit www.htlayton.com to leave a note of condolence to the family. Arrangements are by the H.T. Layton Funeral Home & Cremation Service.