James W. Shirley Funeral Home
Obituaries | The Tube City Almanac | January 22, 2021
Robert E. Haden II, 70, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. Some people say that, no matter how old you are, your mind is still 25 years old. Bob Haden was one of those people. Forever young at heart, Bob traded in phrases like "Age is just a number," and "All to excess." For those who knew him in his 70 years, he lived these maxims; he was a force of nature, a cosmic prototype, but even the best-made machines eventually break down. After his latest cardiac tune-up, on Tuesday, Jan. 19, Bob did the final upload, sending his consciousness to the Cloud. A member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics and active in the Mon Valley RC Club, some may know him by his ham radio call sign, K3OIU ("Old Indian Underwear"), an homage to his father's amateur radio moniker. He enjoyed meticulously building and flying model aircrafts, forever enchanted by the ability to trace majestic geometries in the air. Off the flying field, Bob was a MacGyver, custom-making equipment, and he loved being on the leading edge of technology. He indulged his love of sports cars throughout his life, their customization and impeccable cleanliness, starting with drag racing through Irwin in his youth. Back then, a threat from the police to tell his mother was all the discipline needed. Despite his beloved Corvettes and the like, he stated his Chrysler Crossfire was the most fun he had ever had on four wheels. Perhaps Bob's greatest legacy is his genius, sometimes arriving at work solutions during lucid dreams. At the age of 19, he began what would become a 47-year-long career at Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory. He started out as a technician, became a supervisor, and finished as a brilliant designer of thermohydraulic tests, all without ever obtaining a college degree. His children grew up under the tutelage of a self-made man who instilled in them passion, drive and an example of seeking one's own destiny. Inside this beloved man was a tender heart invested in his family, encouraging them to discover their highest happiness, whatever form that should take. Bob is survived by wife, Diana; children, Kim, Rob, Jonathan and Heather; grandchildren, Samantha, Shellbie and Maeve; great-grandson, Hero; and sister, Kathy. The mark he made on their lives and the lives of many is immeasurable; he will be greatly missed. There will be no visitation or service. Arrangements were made by the JAMES W. SHIRLEY FUNERAL HOME, 176 Clay Pike, North Huntingdon, PA 15642. www.shirleyfuneralhome.com.
Originally published January 22, 2021.
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