Erling Haabestad

Obituary of Erling Haabestad

Erling H. Haabestad, Jr. On May 4, 2016, peacefully passed with family by his side at age 90. Born in Collingswood, NJ on September 2, 1925, the son of Erling H Haabestad, a chemical engineer and Mrylva Quinn. He grew up in Springfield, PA, outside of Philadelphia. He joined the Navy during WWII and trained as a pilot, beginning his lifelong love of aviation flying his own plane out of Allegheny County Airport for many years. He graduated from Swarthmore College after the War, married his sweetheart Marie Louise Cooley in 1950 and raised 2 daughters, Lisa (Robert Pfaffmann) and Karen. He owned a commercial insurance business, Stuchell & Haabestad while actively pursuing his interest in the arts. He studied jewelry fabrication, stone sculpting, ceramics and photography at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, eventually building his own darkroom and ceramic studio and kiln. He won the Leonard Schugar Photography Award at the Three Rivers Arts Festival in 1990. Additional interests were playing tennis, squash, competitive sailing and skiing. He was a long time member of the Fox Chapel Racquet Club and Moraine Sailing Club. Over the years he enjoyed many games of bridge and chess with friends and colleagues at the Engineers Club and University Club. He and his wife were known as the Culture Vultures with season subscriptions at the Pittsburgh Symphony, Ballet, Opera, and Public Theatre, among other institutions, for many years. They loved to dine regularly at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association. He served on the Board of the Mendelssohn Choir and also participated in the Pittsburgh Biblical Archeology group. He was a proud friend of Bill W. for over 40 years. He is survived by his dear daughters, wife of 65 years, sisters Ruth Streater, Mildred Wald and Grace (Edwin) Borgh and many nieces and nephews. As per his wishes, there is no visitation or service. The family wishes to thank the wonderful staff at the Masonic Village of Sewickley for their loving and compassionate care. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Masonic Village Employee Appreciation Fund or the Pittsburgh Center of the Arts would be welcomed. Masonic Village of Sewickley, 1000 Masonic Drive, Sewickley, PA 15143. PCA, 6300 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15232. Please visit to express condolences.