Charles Robert Haines, an Aeronautical Engineer by trade and a navigator of the seas by decree, died peacefully in his sleep early Friday morning the 26th of August, 2011 after battling Parkinson’s disease for more than nine years.
Born June 4, 1935 in Colorado City, Texas, Charles left his small town and discovered a life long passion with the Corp at Texas A&M University. Upon graduating from A&M in 1957 he became an officer in the United States Air Force where he was a Flight Test Engineer on the B-58 “Hustler” bomber, setting altitude records and garnering personal recognition from the 35th President of The United States of America, John F. Kennedy. Charles retired from the USAF at the rank of Captain and began his career with NASA. While working with the space program he enjoyed many years of Aeronautical Engineering success.
These years included many crucial roles in the space program. Charles held the position of Project Manager for The Lunar Landing Training Vehicle Program (1969-1973) during the Apollo era which successfully placed men on the moon. He also worked as Chief of Operational Planning for the Space Shuttle Program from 1978 to 1982. These highlights merely scratch the surface of what Charles accomplished professionally, but for those who knew him well, they realize that great historical moments do not define him in the way his career as a sea vessel captain did.
Charles piloted many things throughout his life but none as well as the boats he commanded at sea. On the water and out at sea Charles found a home. He navigated the open seas for many years with great care and assurance including a solo transit from Galveston to Key West in his beloved “Moonraker.” His abilities behind the helm are outshined only by the roles he cherished as husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, and friend. Charles will forever remain Captain to many and for many always a Captain.
Charles’ parents, Edgar Lee Putman and Tommie Leah Putman, brothers-in-law Charles William “Short” Womack and J.D. Gentry, preceded him in death.
The family Charles has left to carry on his legacy includes his wife and best friend of over 54 years, Catherine M. “Katie” Haines of Galveston, Texas; sisters: Nancy Womack of Colorado City, Texas, Mary Gentry of Sanger, Texas, and Martha Anderson and her husband Phillip of Colorado City, Texas; children, Vicki Kilgore of Bryan, Texas and Kyle Haines and his wife Vickie of Austin, Texas; grandchildren: Douglas Haines and his wife Hillary, Lindsay Collier, Adam Kilgore, Catherine Zercher and her husband Rusty; great grandchildren: Callia Haines, Tatiana Collier, and one on the way. Charles is also survived by several nieces and nephews as well as countless friends.
The family will receive visitors beginning at 9:00 am, Monday, August 29th 2011 at Malloy & Son Funeral Home, 3028 Broadway, Galveston, Texas 77550, with a memorial service beginning at 10:00 am at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests any donations be made to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Church Street Station, P.O. Box 780, New York, NY 10008.