Wayne Leroy Haag
July 19, 1944 - July 23, 2012
Thursday, August 16, 2012 9:24 AM
Dr. Wayne just needed a couple of opportunities to profoundly touch my personal and professional life. I still remember the day that I had the first communication with him a couple of years ago by phone. Working in a USGOV funded food security proposal for Mozambique I needed some candidates to be the program manager for this project. Upon my inquire Wayne started listing a bunch of names of high qualified people that he worked with and every time he would remember someone it wouldn’t take too long till he got another couple of names. His list was endless and for each of the people he spent time highlighting with appreciation their qualifications. It was a demonstration to me of his great care for people he worked with, his capacity to value/highlight peoples’ qualities and the variety of friends he left in the places he passed. Later on I had the privilege to share precious moments with him and Noelia in Virginia and in my house in Maryland. I can’t tell you how fascinated I was with the story of his life and with the explanation he gave me of the many stages of the green revolution which he was an active contributor. Dr. Wayne told me in my house something that’s been a lesson for my professional career as Agricultural Economist working in development. He said “I spent most of my time on the background trying to avoid problems to arise and making sure things progressed smoothly”. My family and I was also astonished with the lovely care that Dr. Wayne had for Noelia, she was for him a very special, precious and irreplaceable being that always made him to naturally treat her as she deserved.
Well, dear Noelia as I said personally to Dr. Wayne I wish I could’ve done by the end of my life in this earth just half of what our admired friend Dr. Wayne did. Now rests to us to continue his Dr. Wayne’s mission and help the people suffering and that are less fortunate than us around the world.
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”-Revelation 21:4
"Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him."-1 Thessalonians 4
Isabella, Iker, Ian, Cecilia and Jozimo
Jozimo Santos Rocha (Elkridge, MD)
Wednesday, August 08, 2012 7:31 AM
I first met Wayne in Sete Lagoas, Brasil, while I was a student. He immediately wanted to help with research I was doing on quality protein maize. I went back to my advisor and told him that while in Brasil, I met a man from Mozambique who wanted to send me to Iowa to meet a lady from Ghana (Abenaa Akuamoa-Boateng) and travel with her to Indiana to analyze some data ... what a scheme! For a while, I thought of him as "3M" (Mystery Man from Maputo). Little did I know that wasn't the last of 3M's schemes for me, and it was all to support and encourage me as a student and later as a graduate and to help me take some small part in the good work that he believed in so strongly. I will always remember Wayne, his kindness, goodness, playfulness, and joy, and the things he valued ... I hope I'll be able to carry those forward in some small way. We love and miss you, Wayne. Noelia, our hearts are with you ... many, many hugs.
Nilupa Gunaratna (Medford, MA)
Tuesday, August 07, 2012 8:56 PM
Dear Noelia; and friends and family of Dr. Wayne Haag,
I am finding it difficult to accept that the young man I first met in Costa Rica is no longer with us. Our paths crossed at Penn State and in several countries over the years. I will miss the long dinners the three of us shared in Des Moines at World Food Festivals. I was hoping for more diners together in the future.
I will also miss the times Wayne looked me in the eye and practically shouted "QUE".
Wayne was kind,concerned, and funny.
Noelia, thank you for making it possible for so many people to share their memories of this exceptional man. Thank you for loving care you provided for Wayne in the past year or two.
May you find peace with God and in your wonderful memories of Wayne. Your are in my thoughts and prayers.
And Wayne, go ahead and take a swing on that jungle vine.
Lis Lawson (Chicago, IL)
Tuesday, August 07, 2012 9:41 AM
Dear Noelia, We know and appreciate the enormous contribution of your life with Wayne, promoting better lives and nutrition for so many people. Thanks especially for the encouragement given to Self Help International by Wayne. He leaves lasting footprints across the planet. Peace upon you and all family and friends.
David and Merry Fredrick (Waverly, IA)
Monday, August 06, 2012 8:47 PM
This is the most difficult letter to write.We are in shock.We always remembered you and never forget.
You were or best friends.We are very sad that we didn’t have a change to see you and Wayne while we were in USA.
I called you as soon as take your massege with the number you have written but I think you weren’t at home.
Sevinç and I viewed the pictures ,it was impossible to hold the tears,this is the life. There is nothing to do.You must be strong and live with his memories.
Dear Noelia,it is very difficult to explain our filings with our poor english but belive that we love you and never forget.
Sevinç Murat (SAMSUN, Turkey)
Monday, August 06, 2012 8:35 PM
Although our paths only crossed a few times at Mariam's wedding and most recently at Uncle Bob's funeral I could tell that you and Wayne were more than just a couple but soul mates. You made a connection with our son Tyler. My family and I wish you the Lord's peace in the time of sorrow for your loss but the things you both shared will live in your heart forever and bring you joy in remembrance
Mary Ellen Barnes (Olive Branch, MS)
Monday, August 06, 2012 7:48 AM
I started collaboration with Dr. Wayne Haag soon after initiation of his SG 2000 mission in Mozambique. Right from the beginning he was very enthusiastic about quality protein maize (QPM). His enthusiasm was rapidly sprayed to all colleagues of the National Maize Program in Mozambique. His experience and support was essential for development of maize germplasm, new varieties and seed production. With his support many colleagues in Ghana, Mozambique and some other African countries gained a lot of knowleadge in maize agronomy, plant breeding and seed production, the most essential issues in crop production. I am personally very thanckful to Dr.Haag for his promotion and support to extend my work on QPM for another 10 years in Mozambique.
Miloje Denic (Belgrade, Serbia)
Sunday, August 05, 2012 11:44 PM
Uncle Wayne was always a unique person in my eyes. Browsing thru family pictures as a child I can remember asking why he looked different from the rest of his brothers who had blonde, curly hair while his was straight and jet black. My parents had a globe which was kept in my dad's study. Each time we spoke of Uncle Wayne & Aunt Noelia, Mom would show us where on the globe they lived in comparison to where we were in the United States. How far away they were! Yet each time they could arrange it, a special visit or phone call was made to keep in touch.
I'll never forget the surprise I was given the night of my wedding rehearsal. After the dinner was completed and the pastor had walked us thru procedures at the church, we traveled to the sight where the reception would be so everyone could help decorate. My mother kept trying to coax me into a room away from where all the activity was going on. I finally gave in only to find Uncle Wayne & Aunt Noelia waiting to give me the biggest hugs ever! What a blessing they were able to share this special day with all of us.
The second biggest event in my life was becoming an adoptive parent. Olivia came into our lives in July 2003 and just two months later, Great Uncle Wayne & Great Aunt Noelia were at our Illinois home for a visit. I think they were beaming just as much as the grandparents!
When my dad (Robert Haag) was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in the fall of 2010, it was Uncle Wayne that gave me the title of "Captain" as we sailed down this path. I sent out e-mails titled "Captain's Log" to keep family & friends updated on his condition. Uncle Wayne told me he had always seen me as a brave person in his eyes for dealing with the daily physical struggles of my arthritis yet never complaining about it. He assured my husband & I both that we were pillars of strength and we would be able to keep the family together with all the ups-n-downs cancer can throw you.
Little did I know that in barely 1 year from my own father's passing, Uncle Wayne would experience his own physical struggles with life and join his brother in eternal rest. I saw my uncle as a knowledgeable, dedicated, loving and patient man. He may have traveled all over the world doing important work with maize but he always made me feel special in his presence. I cherish all the visits, phone calls,in-depth discussions, hugs & kisses we were able to share over the years. I look forward to our heavenly reunion.
Miriam Koehne (Greenville, IL)
Sunday, August 05, 2012 10:07 PM
You used to say that you were an "alien" a kind of an ET who came from a very far away planet... I used to reply to you by saying that you were just my hero ... not like a superman, but like a Spiderman - my Spiderman. Now that you are gone, you probably returned to the nice planet you came from, a beautiful planet where there is JUST LOVE. Perhaps you have turned yourself into an angel with great big and powerful wings to glide the whole universe at the speed of light and land in my heart everytime I call your name in my dreams. I miss you so much, Marido! I want nothing more in this life than to spend the rest of it with your loving memories in my heart and waiting for the time we meet again. With all my love, Eternally yours, Gondinha
Maria Noelia Haag (Sagianaw, MI)
Sunday, August 05, 2012 9:49 PM
Wayne was my brother-in-law. He always had a positive attitude. Whenever he was in the states, he made an effort to call or visit. He was an encourager to my three children, always telling them to stay at getting a degree and giving of themselves. His stories and happy attitude were always welcome. He told his brother, Bob, that he fed the hearts and minds of many children as a teacher. Wayne improved crops to feed them in another way.
Shirley Haag (Greenville, IL)