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Stephen Nelson Haas, M.D.

March 18, 1941 - October 30, 2020

U.S. Veteran

In honor of his lifelong passion for teaching and medicine and in lieu of flowers, the family requests that any donations made in his name be directed towards Medical Student Education at University of South Dakota Medical School via the Alumni Student Scholar Program at the Sanford School of Medicine.

In keeping with his dying wishes, his memorial will be a “no fuss” private service held later in November, and in the spring his ashes will be interred at his ranch.

Stephen Nelson Haas died peacefully on October, 30, 2020 surrounded by his children and close friends after a long battle with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. He was born in Deadwood, South Dakota on March 18, 1941. He was the eldest child of Phil and Dottie Haas and grew up in Volga, South Dakota. Most of his free time as a child was spent outdoors hunting, fishing, and canoeing. After graduation from Volga High School, he attended Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, with plans to become an artist. However, after several years in college he was drawn into Macalester’s sciences program, and met his future wife, Judy Wikoff, in his first biology class. After graduating with a biology degree, he went on to attend medical school at the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine there and went on to complete one year of his fellowship in endocrinology before being drafted in the Air Force. He served at Ellsworth Airforce base and, upon completion of his military service, made the Black Hills his permanent home. He and Judy moved to their beloved ranch near Hermosa in 1976. He worked as the only endocrinologist in Western South Dakota for several decades while also running a small ranch. During the last 25 years of his life, you could often find him driving his grandchildren through Custer State Park.
Social connections and personal interactions were Steve’s source of inspiration, and reason for being. He will be remembered for many things such as his passion for medical education, love for family and small children, strong opinions on many issues, and a long line of beloved, “well trained but rarely disciplined” hunting dogs, children, and grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents and is survived by his wife, Judy Haas of Rapid City, SD and his son Peter Haas, wife Cecilia, and granddaughters Nina and Sophia Haas, who reside in Denver, Colorado, as well as his daughter, Christy (Haas) Jones, her husband Gray, grandsons Holden and Paul Jones, and granddaughter Rory Jones. He leaves behind his sisters and brother, as well as many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
The family is grateful to the many people who supported Steve throughout his life, and extend a special thanks to Emily and Justin Huntley, Scott Gengler, Melissa and Dave Brandt, Jim Brandt and Ron Richards. We are also extremely grateful for the exceptional care he received towards the end of his life from Dr. Jim Bowman and the care team at Monument Health Hospice Services.
Though he will be sorely missed we take comfort in knowing he lived a rich and full life and had connected with and helped so many people across West River South Dakota.

 
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