Kathy who was born in LaCrosse, Wisconsin on April 16, 1946 passed away in Kihei, Hawaii on January 20, 2021. She was the daughter of Howard C. Hass and Arlene Hass who pre-deceased her. Kathy graduated from Waukesha High School in Waukesha, Wisconsin in 1964. She was commissioned through the Navy Nursing Scholarship Program at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.
Upon completion of Officer Indoctrination at Newport, Rhode Island, she reported to Naval Medical Center, San Diego where she was assigned to the Surgical Intensive Care Unit, serving until October 1969 when she was transferred to Guam. In Guam until July 1971, she treated air-vac patients from wounded while serving in Vietnam.
She left active duty and pursued employment with the VA Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her VA career in Milwaukee was highlighted by a variety of leadership assignments within the critical care area including Head Nurse, Supervisor and Clinical Care Nurse Specialist from 1971 to 1988. She graduated with honors in 1977 with a Masters as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Critical Care. She trained over 300 nurses in critical care knowledge and practice over her career as the VA utilized her expertise to provide classes to VA’s across the country. In 1986, after 15 years of broken service from the Navy, she joined the US Naval Reserve community and was commissioned as a Lieutenant serving with the Milwaukee Reserve Center attached to the Naval Reserve Hospital Great Lakes Detachment until October 1988. She served as the Training Officer and established an innovative training for hands on training for Corpsmen and Officers with the VA and University of Wisconsin Milwaukee nursing laboratory.
In 1988 she transferred to Maui, Hawaii to establish a primary care clinic as an advanced practice nurse with the Veteran’s Administration. She also became a member of the Hawaii Naval Reserve Community serving in a variety of roles including ACDUTRA Coordinator, Administrative Department Head and Director of Nursing Service and Directorate for Clinical Services. Captain Hass was mobilized at the Oakland Naval Hospital from February 1991 to May 1991 for Operation Desert Shield serving as charge nurse in the ICU and developing a telemetry course for officers and corpsmen to open a telemetry unit. Before retirement in December 2006, she was the Community Based Outpatient Coordinator for the VA responsible for overall management and operation of all clinics including Maui, Hilo, Kona, Kauai, Guam and Samoa caring for over 8,000 patients and responsibility for over 70 employees.
Captain Hass received many awards including navy and marine commendation medals, navy unit commendation awards, national defense medals and armed forces reserve medals. Honorariums for Kathy included Who’s Who of American Women, Sigma Theta Tau National Honor Society of Nursing, 9 VA Performance Awards and VA Heads & Heart award and Annual Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Nursing. Kathy was an avid sportswoman excelling in golf and tennis. She was a member of Kihei-Wailea Rotary Club and a volunteer for Meals on Wheels.
Surviving Kathy is her loving friend Gloria Robson who provided companionship during her years in Hawaii and nursing care for Kathy during the last years of her life. Also surviving is her brother David Hass (Katrina) of Tucson, Arizona with step-nephew James Artman, and brother Timothy Hass (Rue) of Boulder, Colorado and nieces Lisl Gapinski and her daughter Natalie of Milwaukee, Clariel Hass (Hugh McPherson) and twin sons Stellan & Lachlan of Denver, Colorado, and Anaiah Eilen (Matt) and children Everett and Shaya of Denver. When travel is allowed, the family will gather with Gloria in Hawaii to engage in a “Paddle-Out” to scatter Kathy’s ashes in the Pacific.
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