Retired Prospect Heights, Hoffman Estates fire officer dies at 67
Edwin Haase, who simultaneously served as a district chief of the Prospect Heights Fire Protection District and as a lieutenant with the Hoffman Estates Fire Department before his retirement 17 years ago, died at age 67 Sunday after a brief hospitalization.
His widow, Wendy, who met him nine years ago, said the fire service had been a passion he had to give up due to a promise to his late mother that he would personally take care of his father who was suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
"He absolutely loved the fire department," Wendy Haase said. "He hated that he had to retire so early."
Edwin Haase was a lifelong resident of Prospect Heights and a member of its fire protection district from 1969 to 2001, Fire Chief Drew Smith said.
Prospect Heights paramedics were called to Haase's house Friday. Despite their best efforts, he died late Sunday afternoon, Smith added.
Though she never knew her husband during his firefighting career, Wendy Haase said it wasn't hard to see how important it had been to him. He worked for Prospect Heights and Hoffman Estates on alternating days after a certain point.
"It was his life," she said. "There wasn't a day that I didn't hear a story about it."
Edwin Haase had briefly worked as a school maintenance employee in Prospect Heights before his fire career began, Wendy said. And after his father died, he became a school bus driver until a hip replacement ended that job.
"Ed was truly one of a kind," she said. "He was a fantastic, wonderful man."
A visitation will be 3 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1, at the Glueckert Funeral Home, 1520 N. Arlington Heights Road in Arlington Heights.