Sister Barbara Haase, known for her contagious smile and encouraging spirit, died on December 18, 2015 in Bellevue, Washington. Barbara Joan Haase was born to Arthur and Delphine Haase on June 14, 1936 in Chehalis, WA. She earned a BS in Economics from Western Washington University in Bellingham. It was there that she met the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. She entered the novitiate in Bellingham in 1959 and professed final vows in 1967.
From 1963 to 1966, Sister Barb taught at Sacred Heart and St. Louise schools in Bellevue, WA and Queen of Angels School in Port Angeles, WA. Her interests and training in business administration prepared her to become Administrator for St. Mary-on-the-Lake, the Western center for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. In addition to her administrative skills, she enriched the community with her beautiful singing voice.
Sister Barb's business skills were a natural fit with PeaceHealth, the sponsored health care ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. In 1973, she moved into health care as an Administrative Assistant at St. Anthony Hospital, Wenatchee. For fifteen years, from 1974 to 1989, she worked in Ketchikan General Hospital, and for eleven of those years was Administrator of the hospital.
In 1989 Sister Barb moved to Eugene, Oregon to become Administrator of Sacred Heart Medical Center, PeaceHealth's largest hospital; she made the rounds daily, offering hospital employees her trademark greeting "Child of Grace." A sports fan, she was a passionate supporter not only of the Oregon Ducks, but also of all the local high school teams. In 1995 Sister Barb graciously stepped into a new role as Community Access Coordinator and continued to represent Sacred Heart to the Eugene community. In this position,she founded the Youth Mentorship Program, giving high school students from difficult economic and family situations an opportunity for paid internships at PeaceHealth. Sister Barb's affirming and outgoing leadership brought confidence and support to young people who achieved new levels of personal success through this program.
In 2014 Sister Barb moved to St. Mary-on-the-Lake in Bellevue, WA and enjoyed being closer to her brother, Don, and his family.
"So Christ is our model and in order to imitate Him we have to do strange things – things that seem almost inexplicable, but at the last days, when our work is taken off the loom of life, we shall see the beauty that comes into our soul by this work."
Mother Evangelista (Honoria Gaffney)