DEARLY DEPARTED: James Haak will be missed by everyone who knew him.
DEARLY DEPARTED: James Haak will be missed by everyone who knew him. Contributed

Beloved pastor remembered for 'humour and wit'

JAMES Albert Haak was born on June 7 in 1959 in Gatton to Cecil and Thelma Haak.

He was named after his grandfather Albert Haak and was the eldest grandchild for Jack and Martha Lud.

James was quiet and happy as a child, living his first two years on a dairy farm at Brightview.

He was baptised at the Minden Zion Lutheran Church.

James' brother Wayne was born in September 1960.

The family of four moved to Gatton in 1961 and the family grew with the addition of brothers Ian and Malcom.

In 1966 the family moved to a farm in Middle Ridge.

The farm was a wonderful environment for the five boys to grow up in.

The family would move to Cleary St when James' parents built their house.

James and his family worshipped at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on Glenvale Rd.

The brothers attended Concordia Primary School and then Concordia College where James excelled in academic studies.

Whilst in Year 10 at the college he was confirmed along with several students from his class by the college chaplain.

In 1977, following the completion of Year 12, James considered several careers such as the police force, the army, science teacher or pastor.

James started a Bachelor of Science at the Adelaide University with the goal of becoming a science teacher.

Malcom passed away unexpectedly from a dissecting aortic aneurysm whilst swimming in November 1977.

James changed his career path and started study to become a pastor in the Lutheran Church.

During this time, he was living on campus at the Lutheran Seminary in Adelaide and would meet his wife Marie Graetz in 1979.

He was assigned to undertake his vicarage year at St Paul's Lutheran Church at Nundah in Brisbane under Pastor David Larson.

On the last day of 1983, Haak married Marie at her home congregation at Zion Lutheran Church Sedan in South Australia.

Following their marriage, the couple lived at Para Vista in Adelaide where Marie taught at Good Shepherd Lutheran School whilst James continued his final year of study.

James was ordained on the December 23 in 1984 at his home congregation in Toowoomba.

Following his ordination, he was installed at the Calvary Lutheran Church in Rockhampton where he served as pastor from January 1985 until 1991.

The sudden loss of his mother in August 1989 had a great impact on the family. She suffered a fatal aneurysm following surgery when she was 50.

The couple were blessed with the birth of their first child Aiden on June 21, 1990 in Rockhampton.

James would be called to be pastor at the New Life Lutheran Church in West Logan and would be installed in January 1991.

While in Logan the couple would be blessed with their second child Annie on November 29, 1992.

The family of four moved to Pittsworth where James was installed at the church in December 1994.

James would celebrate his 40th birthday at Pittsworth. Part of the celebrations included several competitions including guess the wine or the beer.

The family would move back to South Australia when James would be installed at the St John's Lutheran Church in September 2001.

James' second brother Robert died from a heart attack at the age 39 which was a great loss to his family and friends.

James' father suffered a stroke which paralysed his right side. Although he had some level of recovery, he required 24-hour care and was placed in Regis aged care facility in Gatton.

In 2007, James would accept a position at the Peace Lutheran Church in Gatton.

Whilst in Gatton he would visit his father regularly.

The brothers played soccer growing up in Toowoomba and while James was in Gatton, he would use his skills to coach the Gatton Redback's under-15 B team from 2010 to 2012 and would be awarded the 2012 Junior Soccer Coach.

The couple went on a cruise to the Pacific Islands to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary.

James' father passed away in June 2010 a few days before his birthday.

In late 2017 James was elected to the position of Bishop of the New South Wales Distract and the couple moved to Sydney.

He would be elected by General Synod as a member of the new General Church Board and travelled to Adelaide to attend a meeting of the College of Bishops and the first meeting of the new board.

The night before he was scheduled to leave he experienced chest pains and was taken to the hospital and would die from a heart-related condition.

James had a mischievous sense of humour and wit. He also enjoyed playing with words and made some cringe worthy puns.

He was an avid Hawthorn supporter and would not be swayed to support Brisbane.

James was an enthusiastic photographer and won several awards for his work.

He lived and taught the faith sincerely and served the Lord diligently.

James will be sadly missed by all who knew him.



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