George R. Haney, an iconic Glendale citizen, died peacefully in his home on December 21, 2012, surrounded by family. He will be remembered as a beloved husband, father, grandfather, businessman, coach, WWII Veteran, and friend to many. He was 97.
Born in Omaha, Nebraska, he and his family moved to Long Beach in 1922, Atwater in 1923, then eventually to Glendale in 1930. He graduated from Glendale High School in 1934 and attended Glendale College, where he met his future bride Bettie Jarl. After graduation from San Jose State University in 1939 with a degree in Physical Education, he accepted a job at Kamehameha Boys School in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he taught P.E. and was the varsity baseball coach. With the prospect of war looming, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1941 in Honolulu, HI. He served in the Air Transport Command as a pilot in the Pacific Theater. He received the Asiatic-Pacific Theater Service Medal, the American Theater Service Medal, the Air Medal HQ AAF, and the WWII Victory Medal. He was honored on NBC Radio’s “It Happened in the Service” for his heroic efforts in saving his flight crew when their B-17 Aircraft crashed in the Pacific. During his military service, he married Bettie in 1943.
After theWar,George flew forAmerican Airlines until 1947.He then started working in the appliance business his father started in 1927, gradually adding air conditioning to their appliance line. By 1958, George Haney and Son was selling air conditioning equipment exclusively. George ran the business for 51 years, and was known throughout Glendale as “Mr. Air Conditioning”.
George and his family were among the original members of Oakmont Country Club. He maintained his membership through his life, and worked out in the Oakmont Gym daily until he was 96. The gym was named “George’s Gym” in 2007 in honor of his inspirational presence. He was active in the Glendale Rotary, and the United Methodist Church. Yet, the true legacy he left is the loving, friendly, generous, encouraging and cheerful spirit which touched the lives of so many.
He is survived by his children Jarleen and John Littrell, Mike and Connie Haney, Kristi and Timothy Chambers, and his grandchildren Grant and Carlee Haney, Colin and Aidan Chambers, John and Kristin Litrell, Melissa and Jeremy Timko, and Jason Littrell.
He will live on in the hearts of all who had the privilege of knowing him.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in George’s honor to Glendale College Foundation for The George R. Haney Scholarship Fund, 1500 N. Verdugo Rd., Glendale, CA 91208.