Bernard (Bernie) McGrew Haines

Bernie Haines

Bernie Haines, a long-time Glenwood Springs resident, passed away on February 6, 2010 at the age of 87. Bernie was born in Lore City, Ohio on June 1, 1922 to Frank and Blanche (McGrew) Haines.

He lived in many locations around Michigan and Ohio during his childhood. His father owned a drilling rig and moved from place to place, taking core samples for oil companies.

Bernie received a B.S. in Chemistry from Adrian College in 1944. With World War II ongoing, he was immediately employed at Oak Ridge National Laboratories as part of the scientific community that developed the atomic bomb. In March of 1946, he married his college sweetheart, Georgia Van Amburg.

In 1952 Bernie and Georgia moved to Colorado Springs, where he was production manager at Emerson Electric Co. Their daughter, Katrina, was born in 1955. For several years they owned and operated a turn-of-the-century summer resort in Green Mountain Falls, CO.

The family moved to Glenwood Springs in 1962. For the next ten years, Bernie taught science at Basalt High School. During that time he also attended summer school and received an M.S. degree from Miami of Ohio. He inspired his students to do creative science projects, and many won statewide recognition in science fairs. His students remember him for his unusual classroom experiments and sense of humor.

In the early 1970’s he launched into a career as a free-lance inventor and scientist, which had always been his dream. He obtained several patents, and became well known for the invention of the Solar Pathfinder, which is still widely used to optimize solar energy installations. Bernie continued inventing and tinkering in his shop until he lost his eyesight to macular degeneration in 2005.

Bernie designed, built, and remodeled all sorts of equipment over the years, including a gold sorting machine for prospecting and kilns for firing ceramics. He enjoyed the challenge of finding a creative solution for any problem he encountered.

In addition to his love of science, Bernie enjoyed working on projects for and with his grandchildren. He was playful and loved to joke with his family. His favorite outdoor activities included camping, fossil hunting, prospecting, and bird watching. Bernie will be remembered as a devoted husband, father, and grandfather.

He was preceded in death by his parents, sisters Mildred and Rosamond, and one nephew. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Georgia, his daughter Trina Haines, son-in-law Bruce Wampler, grandchildren Van and Risa Wampler, and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, February 13th at 2:00 pm at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. Interment will follow at Rosebud Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please contribute in Bernie’s name to Hospice of the Valley at P.O. Box 3768 Basalt, CO 81621

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Bernie — 32 Comments

  1. Following the Memorial Service for Bernie, Georgia reminded me of something that we thought was worth posting to the web-page. In the mid-70s, I was living in Denver and playing tennis everyday for 3-4 hours and then hiking on weekends and was in really good condition with lots of stamina. I went to visit Bernie and Georgia in Glenwood on this one occasion when Georgia’s parents, my grandparents, Clela and Clarence VanAmburg, were visiting them as well. We can’t recall how it all started but somehow Bernie and I got into a discussion about how long it would take someone to climb the mountain behind the house.

    I told him that I could do it in half an hour to which Bernie laughed and needled me endlessly. He said there was no way anybody could get to the top of that mountain in just half an hour…it’s further than you think…it has false summits, etc. So of course the challenge/bet was on. I can’t recall if there was anything wagered other than pride and right to be right or the right to prove someone wrong. There didn’t really need to be anything else beyond that.

    Sometime later that day, Grandpa and Grandma turned the lawn chairs around facing north. Grandpa had binoculars in hand and his watch was the official time piece. I took off at a rapid pace toward the foot of the mountain and then up I scrambled across the scree, slipping and sliding as I raced up-slope, grabbing onto anything I could, even though I was accustomed to the altitude, I recall my head pounding like crazy. When I was very near the top, I found a small clearing and took off my white tee shirt and waved it to make sure that Grandpa could see me. Then I continued the short distance to the very top where I learned later I could be clearly seen from below.

    I scrambled back down and found that my official time was 20 minutes! Even faster than I thought I could do it. Now, one would think that the best part would be that I beat Bernie but that was not the case. The best part by far was seeing my Grandpa VanAmburg so excited that I had beaten Bernie so handily. He was just laughing, cajoling Bernie and enjoying the moment, giving Bernie a hard time with as if he were the one who had won the race. Grandpa made sure that Bernie didn’t forget how badly he had been bested as he kept bringing it up at every opportunity for the rest of the weekend.

  2. Bernie and Georgia always had piles and piles of brush and other “collectibles” that needed to be cleaned out periodically. I would take my truck over and haul it to the dump. There was always quite an accumulation! Bernie always blamed Georgia, but I knew better! My truck has a dump bed, so unloading is not a problem, but Bernie would come along and help. We would discuss any and everything and would have the World’s problems fixed by the time we got to the Dump! While I unloaded the truck, Bernie would be checking out what everyone else left. Sometimes it seemed we left with as much as we brought! Somewhere along the line, I think Georgia got wise and told Bernie he couldn’t go with me anymore.

    When I remodeled the basement I covered the water shut-off valve with cabinets, which made access difficult. I was talking to Bernie about something else and mentioned the problem I was having. He had a solution that I used that turned out great! I don’t think I would have ever thought of it on my own!

    As the residents of Chaparral Circle well know, my house has been in a state of remodel, since forever! Bernie always worried that I was fixing it it up to sell it. I would tell him “No, this is what I like to do and have put too much time and effort into this house to sell it!” I don’t think he believed me. It’s nice to know that he cared whether or not I moved. I wish he could have seen clearly what the house looks like now! I hope he would like it!

    I miss him,

    Ed Malin (neighbor)