EVELYN WITTENBERG HAAS
May 18, 1923 - April 4, 2020
Evelyn Wittenberg Haas passed away peacefully at Catskill Regional Medical Center on April 4, 2020 after a short illness. She had a long and full life; 96 years of life, love, hardships and family. Evelyn was born on May 18, 1923 in Livingston Manor to Hungarian parents, Alesander and Szerana Kraus Wittenberg who settled in Livingston Manor as dairy farmers. The dairy farm became The Edgewood Inn, a popular seasonal Sullivan County Resort Hotel that served guests well into the 1980’s. Over the course of her interesting and varied life she was first a mother, a wife, a hotel owner, a grandmother and an activist. Evelyn was the first head of President Lyndon Johnson’s Community Action Commission to Help the Economy (CACHE) in Sullivan County. She volunteered for various organizations including a 25 year board member of Sullivan County BOCES, Agudas Achim Ladies Aid Society, League of Women Voters, Livingston Manor Chamber of Commerce, Sullivan County Hotel Association, Monday night Bridge League, Sullivan County CASA, and she was a passionate defender of and volunteer at Community General Hospital (now CRMC). Evelyn was past president of the Hospital Auxiliary and co-chaired their Antiques in August and Men-Who-Cook events, two of their signature fundraisers. Evelyn was honored by a number of local organizations including the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Greater Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce. Always a leader, even in her last years at the Sullivan County Adult Care Center, she served as the Resident’s Association President.
But, it was the more personal projects that Evelyn took on that gave her the greatest joy. She gave a step up to many, many people that were down on their luck and took them under her wing; abused women, struggling parents and lost souls…she always felt it was her calling to empower them by giving them employment when she could and counseling them to find their own strength, all while baking mandel bread to make sure that there was always sweetness in her home. Her Friday night Shabbat Dinners were epic and many of her recipes have been passed on to her family and friends.
Though Evelyn was a parent and grandparent to many, she is survived by her immediate family including Stephen & Helen Haas, Richard & Karen Haas, Susan Zelinski and Judy and Gary Siegel. Grandchildren Brandi Thomas, Jessica Haas, Michael Haas, Kimberleigh Stickney, Georgia Siegel and Max Siegel along with several great grandchildren, nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband Fred Haas.
A small family burial service will take place at the Congregation Agudas Achim Cemetery in Livingston Manor. A ‘celebration of life’ will be held at a later date to be determined when those that were touched by her life will be able to gather. Contributions in her honor can be made to Planned Parenthood of Sullivan County or Congregation Agudas Achim, Livingston Manor
Arrangements under the care of Colonial-Bryant Funeral Home, for further information call 845-439-4333 or visit www.colonialfamilyfuneralhomes.com
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