Georgia Jean (VanAmburg) Haines

Georgia Haines
Georgia Haines

Georgia Haines, age 94 of Glenwood Springs passed away on Friday November 20th, 2020 from a sudden illness. She was born in Lansing Michigan on January 21, 1926, the second child of Clarence VanAmburg and Clela Williams VanAmburg. She grew up on her Grandparents’ farm outside of Portland Michigan and attended the Monroe school, a one room country school, until sixth grade. She graduated from Portland High School in 1943, and then attended Adrian College, where she met and married her true love, Bernie Haines in 1946. Bernie had been called to work at Oak Ridge National Laboratories during WWII, and Georgia went to join him and worked as a research assistant there after the war. She finished her undergraduate degree in Mathematics at Michigan State University in 1950, and soon took her first teaching job in Haslett, Michigan.

Georgia and Bernie moved to the Colorado Springs area in 1952. Georgia taught at various schools on the eastern slope, and also worked as a mathematician at the National Bureau of Standards. Additionally, she and Bernie owned and operated The Terrace Hotel, a historic summer resort in Green Mountain Falls, for five summers. They relocated to the Roaring Fork Valley in 1962. Georgia taught at Basalt High School and later at Glenwood Springs High School, until she retired in 1985. She earned a Masters degree in Education in 1969.

Georgia was a dedicated teacher, always trying to help her students succeed. She was known for her ready smile and sweet disposition. She loved getting out in nature, hiking, seeing wildflowers, and watching birds. In retirement, she swam many laps at the hot springs pool, enjoyed camping and traveling, and she especially loved spending time with her grandchildren. They loved to hear stories of her early life on the farm and at the one room school. Her last years were spent in good health, happily living in her own home with her grandson Van and his partner Anna.

She is survived by her daughter Trina Haines, son-in-law Bruce Wampler, grandchildren Van Wampler (and partner Anna Murphy) and Finley Haines (and partner Zee Winningham), sisters Lois Smith and Doris Babbitt, both of Portland MI, as well many beloved nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Bernie, her parents, sisters Elaine Thrasher, Arleta Reddin, and brother Don VanAmburg. Her cheerful presence be missed by all who knew her. A memorial service to celebrate her life will be held at a time when it is safe to gather again.

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Georgia — 30 Comments

  1. It’s your birthday today, Aunt Georgia, and I’m wishing I could talk with you and wish you the best. I miss you not being “there”. I was so used to reaching out and sharing my thoughts and experiences with you and hearing what was happening with you in your daily life. I miss sending you pictures of my little grandkids and getting such sweet replies from you. My earliest memories of you, Uncle Bernie, and Trina, are from my first visit to Colorado in 1957 as a seven-year-old. How were so welcoming and sweet and I knew we would stay close forever and a day. You were an excellent cook and baker and I think of you so often as I use a favorite recipe you so generously shared with me. I had the good fortune to visit Colorado numerous times as well as live in Colorado for part of my life which helped me grow even closer to you. I truly miss talking and laughing with you as you made me feel loved (and that’s a special feeling). When you and Trina visited us in North Carolina one recent Spring the three of us had quite an adventure together! We drove through unbelievably thick fog along the Blue Ridge Parkway on our way to spend a few days in the Smokey Mountains. It was a trip down memory lane for you and Trina and I enjoyed your stories as we drove and hiked. What a great adventure! What great memories! I will forever miss you and love you! I am truly sorry you left us so suddenly but there never would have been a “good” time for you to leave us. You and your family will always be in my heart.

  2. I only knew you on Sunday mornings, dear Georgia, but that was enough for me to know what a beautiful soul you were. We will always miss you and love you.

  3. Our hearts are broken with the news of Georgia’s passing. She was the kindest person we have ever known and we will miss her dearly. We have so many fond memories of visits with Georgia and Bernie. Playing croquet, hiking, hanging out in the backyard and the last time we saw Georgia was a Caribbean Cruise…wonderful. Out deepest sympathy to Trina, Bruce and Family. We will keep you all close in our hearts. Love, Bob & Eileen

  4. Where you begin? A truly wonderful and special woman has left our lives and it will always be too soon! My great aunt Georgia was as perfect of a person you could know. Always warm and inviting and ALWAYS with a smile on her face. I have found memories of visiting Glenwood Springs and playing croquet in the backyard (usually having to make sure Uncle Bernie wasn’t trying to cheat us kids!) and also seeing deer after deer out their back windows. Going hiking and fossil hunting is something I still love to do and having aunt Georgia there to show everyone where to look for fossils was an important part of my life! Love to all of the extended Haines/VanAmburg clan!

  5. Georgia was amazing. I was looking forward for the end of COVID so another teacher and I could meet with Georgia for lunch again. We would reminisce about teaching plus our connections to Basalt and always enjoyed the time together. Then there were the evenings with Georgia and Bernie playing Uno. I am going to miss this amazing woman, but I feel blessed to have known her.

  6. Aunt Georgia and Uncle Bernie are two of the best! Our family trips out west are some of the fondest memories. I fell in love with the mountains and was inspired to move out west due to Georgia and Bernie. Recently, as in a few years ago, I visited with Georgia and family resurfacing the fond memories. Ginger snaps and buttermilk pancakes for some reason are better tasting thanks to those two. Extremely intellectual but with soft charm and good wit is how I will remember them both! Thank you Trina, Bruce, and Family for sharing such good people with us.
    Sincerely, Brian McCall

  7. Aunt Georgia was such an awesome lady! She always made you feel so special. She was such a great inspiration to both of my kids, Ellie and Mitchell. She was able to watch Ellie teach one of her dance classes and encouraged Ellie to continue to teach! Aunt Georgia was so excited when she found out Mitchell is attending Adrian College. We would share different links Adrian posted through Facebook and I believe she watched Mitchell play one of his Adrian football games. I still have her text messages and will hold on to those as sweet memories.

  8. Aunt Georgia was an inspiration to me! I only got to chat with her a couple times when she came to visit in Michigan. These times she came I was younger but I always remember her smiling and loving life. It’s great to read about her life and see all the differences she made in others lives. I have always had a passion for math and teaching just like Aunt Georgia. I’m currently studying mathematical education and it’s so great that I found where the passion comes from in my family!! I hope to carry out the love and care she did for her students!

  9. It didn’t take long after meeting Georgia for me to see why she was so loved and adored by her family. Her warm smile and genuine interest in getting to know me and my daughters made us each feel special. I wish we had the chance to spend more time with her but we will always remember “Aunt Georgia” for her kindness and sincerity.

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