We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Stone Funeral Home, Inc.
Renn Frederick Haley, 85, of Petoskey, MI ended his earthly journey peacefully at home on Monday, May 23, 2022.
Recently, he loved to joke that he was “supposed to be dead two weeks ago but here I am!” So when he said this past Saturday that he was leaving on Monday, no one believed him. Especially not when he had asked for his coffee that Monday morning.
Renn was born on August 1, 1936 to Frederick Alexander and Eva Katherine (nee Burdick) Haley, in Oden, MI.
Renn graduated from Petoskey High School in 1954, and enlisted in the Army in 1956. He was a Jump Master & Heavy Rigger in the 82nd Airborne and was honorably discharged in 1959. He loved to share stories about service; so much so that he was able to make Fort Bragg, NC sound like a fun place. Needless to say, he was not afraid of heights and loved roller coasters.
He was also an Army Sharp Shooter, a skill that served him well while deer hunting. While driving deer, friends could always tell when Renn was shooting since no one else could get off that many shots that quickly with a bolt-action rifle. Renn loved deer hunting, so long as he had peppermints, coffee, and cookies. One year in the 1990's, while not snacking, he was able to bag double prize bucks.
Renn married Nancy Donaldson, in Ellsworth, MI on January 25, 1959. He hitchhiked home on a weekend pass and married Nancy a week after she turned 19, since her parents wouldn't let her get married at 18. This may or may not have been the time he borrowed his father-in-law's constable's car and drove from Ellsworth to Petoskey at high rates of speed with the siren going.
He and Nancy welcomed three children into the world. While he may not have been the hands-on type of dad that is prevalent today, he was a rock. We had everything we needed, he did what he said he would, he was always at the dinner table and he never missed a game. Most of all, when we needed him, he was there. He rarely told us he was proud of us, but he bragged on us to everyone else (or so we're told). And he always set the bar high, often saying, “You've never done anything that I haven't done, so I'm not worried.”
After several years at varied jobs, such as Postmaster & ice skate sharpener, Renn decided to follow his father into the plumbing business. He spent many years at Ballard's before founding Haley's Plumbing & Heating, Inc. in 1976. Every morning for years, he would join other business people for coffee at a local restaurant. He said he was networking but we all secretly thought that he just liked BS'ing and finding out what his kids were up to the night before. Upon his retirement in the early 2000's he passed the company onto his son David.
Retirement didn't agree with Renn so he got another odd assortment of jobs that would provide the opportunities to drive around, talk on his cell phone and BS with anyone he ran into. He loved to go for drives, mostly unplanned, so anyone getting into the truck knew they were losing control of their day.
He is survived by his wife, Nancy (nee Donaldson) Haley; children, David (Betsy) Haley, Stuart Haley, and Sara Haley; and grandchildren, Azleigh Haley, William Haley and Mallory Haley, all of Petoskey. Also surviving are in-laws Bill Stevens, Alice Donaldson, Ron & Luann Donaldson, Terry Donaldson, and Joel (Lily) Donaldson.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters and their spouses, Ollie (Dick) Khune, Geneva (Loren) Brown and Vivian (Steve) Dianoviec as well as in-laws Beatrice & Levi Donaldson, Donna (Donaldson) Stevens, Alan Donaldson, Jimmy Donaldson, Jack Donaldson, Barbara (Donaldson) Poley, Dermott Poley, Gwendolyn (Donaldson) & Pete Frank, and Sandra (Donaldson) & Lawrence Bergmann.
There will be a funeral service at Stone Funeral Home on Thursday, May 26, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. Visitation will be the half-hour prior. Rev. David Behling will officiate. Burial immediately following at Greenwood Cemetery.