Welcome to the memorial page for

Vernon Jay Haan

December 9, 1927 ~ September 17, 2017 (age 89)

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Vernon JayHaan, 89, a longtime resident of Lake Geneva, passed away on September 17, 2017 at the Arbor Village Retirement Home.

He was born on December 9th, 1927 to the late Jacob and Josephine (Ringold) Haan in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Vernon attended South High School in Grand Rapids and was a member of the graduating class of 1946. He was very proud of the time that he spent in the United States Army, 48th Airborne Division during World War II. Vernon served as the Company Clerk for the 5th Army Corps. After high school he attended the University of Baltimore where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Transportation. 

On September 2nd, 1950 in Grand Rapids, Vernon was united in marriage with the love of his life, Joyce Marie Fritch.

When Vernon completed his degree at the University of Baltimore he was recognized as the top graduate of the entire University. Vernon won the Traffic Club of Baltimore Transportation Honor Award Gold Key and was elected to the Beta Alpha Honorary Scholarship Society. 

Vernon was a man who loved the world of transportation – starting as an Inspector with the Pennsylvania Railroad – and eventually serving as a vice president of the N.I.T. League. A project of import was when he was called upon to inspect all of the new marble being used to re-face the United States Capital building East Front extension from 1958-62. 

In 1969, Vernon built the family a home in Lake Bluff, IL, where they joined the Methodist Church and forged close friendships and ties with more than a dozen families which are still treasured and held dear to this day. In 1976 Vernon and his wife Joyce, along with their three growing sons, David, Bradley and Nicholas, restored an historic, Greek Revival home on Mackinac Island, MI and turned it into Haan's 1830 Inn Bed and Breakfast. 

After retirement, he and Joyce moved to Lake Geneva, and Vernon became a driving force behind the creation of the Geneva Lakes Museum and Historical Buildings project. One of the things that Vernon was most proud of receiving was the Stu Herzog Outstanding Citizen Award given to him by the Geneva Lake Chamber of Commerce on September 9th, 2008.

Vernon’s wife of 67 years, Joyce, survives him. 2 sons, David Haan of Rockville Centre on Long Island, NY and Bradley (Will Myers) Haan of Los Angeles, CA; 2 grandchildren, Shannon (Lucas) Westblade and Jacob Haan; along with 1 great-grandchild Gideon Westblade; 1 brother, Versol (Lynda) Haan of Jemison, Michigan also survive him. His youngest son, Nicholas Haan on July 26th, 2017; 3 brothers, Donald, Roger, and Delbert Haan and 2 sisters, Thelma and Doris, preceded Vernon in death.

 A memorial gathering will take place at the Geneva Lake Museum on Sunday, October 1, beginning at 3:30. All are welcome and refreshments will be served. The museum is located on the east side of downtown just off Highway 50/Main Street, at  255 Mill Street. For more information, please call the museum at 262-248-6060

 In lieu of other expressions of sympathy the family has asked that you make a donation in Vernon’s name to the Geneva Lake Museum.

To post an online condolence please click the Guest Book/Condolence tab on the left side of your screen.

The Derrick Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Lake Geneva are more then honored to be assisting the family of Vernon Haan.


Charitable donations may be made to:

Geneva Lake Museum
255 Mill Street, Lake Geneva WI 53147
Tel: 1-262-248-6060

 Service Information

Memorial Gathering
October 1, 2017

3:30 PM
Lake Geneva Museum
255 Mill St
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin 53147

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