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* Wilson "Bill" Haff; Retired Navy Commander

March 28, 2000

Wilson "Bill" Meredith Haff, a retired Navy commander, died Friday in a local hospital. He was 78.

He was born May 6, 1921, in Stamford, Conn., to Whitman Catlin Haff and Margaret Gladys Kramer Haff. He graduated from Pelham High School in Pelham, N.Y.

After high school, he attended Stephens Institute in Hoboken, N.J., where he was also a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity.

Pursuing his love for flying, he received his naval wings and a commission in 1943 from the Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida.

In 1945, he married the former Dusty Horwath; they had one daughter.

During his 30-year career as a naval officer and aviator, Haff served with honor and distinction in World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars.

His assignments and duties included Commander Fleet Air-Honolulu; Training Command at Hutchinson, Kan.; air operations officer at Adak, Alaska; Commander Fleet Air-Whidbey Island, Wash.; and missile officer at Point Mugu Missile Center, where he was recognized for launching the first navigational satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc.

He also served as staff officer and commanding officer at Atsugi Naval Air Station in Ashya, Japan.

Haff was a life member of the Retired Officers Assn., University of Southern California Andrus Associates, the Mary and Joseph League, a member of the Navy League and the Assn. of Naval Aviators.

The family moved to Camarillo in 1962, and in 1970 Haff retired from the Navy and joined a family produce business, Season Produce Co., that had been founded by his father-in-law, Stephen T. Horwath. He retired from that business in 1996.

Haff enjoyed golf, football, swimming and sailing. He was an avid reader and had a great love for music.

In addition to his wife of 55 years, and their daughter, Stephanie Haff of Scottsdale, Ariz., he is survived by sisters Carol Wright Hall of Nova Scotia and Eleanor Allison of Palmetto, Fla.

A funeral Mass with military honors will be said at noon Wednesday at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church on Las Posas Road in Camarillo. Interment will follow at San Fernando Mission Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the USC Norris Cancer Center in Los Angeles or the St. Elizabeth of Hungary Scholarship Fund, USC Gerontology Center in Los Angeles.

Arrangements are under the direction of Pierce Bros. Griffin Mortuary in Camarillo.

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