My late father's only brother (the older by almost two years), Jack Clifford Haney was always a somewhat distant blood relative, living by himself for most of the years I knew him at his small two-story rental house apartment in south Ironton, Ohio, also a retired pensioner for much of that time, his children grown and moved away and my aunt committed to psychiatric care for much of those years until her death in 1995, so I have even fewer memories of her than him. I also have only recently gotten to know my three cousins better having grown up distant despite living in the same town. The one thing that troubles me still about my late uncle was how he was often used as an illustration by my parents (especially by my father who could not get along with him, especially after they were adults and both older) of how not to conduct my life as a cautionary tale. The man was basically a decent person, but sometimes seemed selfish (a trait that runs thought parts of my extended family background on both sides) and stingy toward others (despite sometimes spending extravagantly for personal things). He was also a dreamer who could not realize his dreams of entrepreneurship to become owner of a trucking or bus company of some sort. He talked about it often enough, along with other seemingly trivial matters of interest only to him, but could never get any ideas off the ground for whatever practical reason or convenient excuse fit the situation. He liked to talk and tell stories but lived too much in his own past inside. My parents often asked why the man couldn't amount to anything with his intelligence, but there was never a good answer.
I guess I see in his life, or certain aspects of it, a self-fulfilling prophecy about my own future and how bleak and lonely it might be in the end. He had a family but according to some accounts was not the best father in the world. He probably shouldn't have had that family of his own, keeping distant from much of his children's family and choosing to remain reclusive and solitary. He was also unhappy about losing independence in recent months after some falls in his apartment and relocation to a local nursing home, and sadly I believe this (regardless of how good the care was he received) contributed to his recent death, since the mind can help heal or harm the body by its positive or negative moods. The only differences between him and I, in terms of mirrored experiences between different generations, are I've had no immediate family of my own - no wife ever and no children I know of - and my great dream ambition is not yet failed and dead (it may become that soon enough, however). I never married my high school or young adult life sweetheart (never had either), as he married the woman he fell in love with during the 1940s (sadly they divorced some five decades later due to some problem with retirement benefits). Looking ahead into the future's murky darkness, I see a similar lonely end, barely mourned by anyone in my own case, leaving behind a body of fiction work that barely ever found any audience and will be quickly forgotten by posterity (never to become later celebrated like works of writers like Lovecraft or Poe).
With my own reflections out of the way, I reproduce here the obituary for Jack C. Haney published in our local newspaper below (if anyone is interested in it).
April 6, 1924 — June 20, 2013
Jack Clifford Haney, 89, of Ironton, passed away Thursday, June 20, 2013, at
Jo-Lin Health Center. The Lima native was born April 6, 1924, a son to the late
Frank and Mary (Carmichael) Haney. Mr. Haney was a 1945 graduate of
Ironton High School. Jack went on to work and retired as a laborer for Carlyle
Jack is survived by two daughters, Beverly (David) Stapleton and Cathy (Tony)
Scherer both of Ironton; a son, Charles Haney also of Ironton; six
grandchildren, Cathy Jo (Wesley) White, David Stapleton Jr. and Robyn Jones,
Katie Scherer and A.J. McKnight, Heather (Mike) Freeman, Hollie Haney and Matt
Weber, and Chris (Amanda) Haney, all of Ironton; one nephew, Ed Haney, also of Ironton; and 11 great-grandchildren.
In addition to his parents, Jack is preceded in death by a brother, Edwin
Graveside services will be 3 p.m. on Monday, June 24, at Highland Memorial
Gardens in South Point with Pastor Richard Scheffield officiating. Visitation
will be from 1-2:30 p.m. at the Tracy Brammer-Monroe Funeral Home on the day of the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Ironton Catholic
Schools, 912 S. 6th Street Ironton, Ohio 45638.
Condolences may be made online to the Haney family at