LeRoy Haws was born July 15, 1937 in El Paso, Texas to Roy F. and Vera Humphrey Haws. As a military family, the Haws family lived in various places including Greenville, South Carolina, Houston, Texas, and multiple times in El Paso, where LeRoy’s younger brother, Joe H. Haws, was also born. Their last military assignment was in San Antonio, Texas in 1951. LeRoy graduated from Brackenridge High School in San Antonio in 1955 where he played saxophone in the band and also later played in a dance band. He then attended San Antonio Junior College where he was active in photography and the yearbook staff. He served in leadership positions for a number of youth service, religious, and fraternal organizations including Committee Chair for Allied Youth, President for the Junior Independent Order of Odd Fellows, President for Crestholme Presbyterian Church Pioneers, and President for the Senior Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
LeRoy had a great love for airplanes and flying and worked sacking groceries at HEB stores in San Antonio to earn money for flying lessons while he was in high school. He soloed his first airplane when he was only sixteen!
He enlisted in the Texas National Guard and completed Air Force Basic Training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio in 1955. LeRoy completed the United States Army Infantry Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry in 1963. He then completed the Infantry Officers Basic Course at Fort Benning in 1964. While there, he was editor of the annual at Fort Benning. LeRoy graduated from the Officer Fixed Wing Aviator Course at Fort Rucker, Alabama as an Army Aviator in 1965. He piloted the Cessna L-19 Bird Dog observation aircraft for the remainder of his Texas National Guard service.
LeRoy worked for the Rath Packing Company and liked sales so much that he moved to Houston and enrolled in the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing and finance. While at the University of Houston, he met Mary Eileen Porter. They were married six years later on September 10, 1966 at the University of Houston Chapel. The couple later moved to Beaumont, Texas where LeRoy was a manager for the SCM Corporation, photocopy division. He was promoted with SCM, and the couple moved to Austin, Texas. LeRoy’s true entrepreneurial spirit emerged, and he set up Electronic Ventures, Inc. and developed, manufactured, and sold one of the first telephone answering machines in Houston, Texas.
With the birth of their daughter, Katherine Kimberly, LeRoy and Eileen moved from Houston to Crosby, Texas and started Lake Houston Builders and Developing, Inc. They purchased their first home in Newport in Crosby in 1976 and lived there for over 38 years before designing and building their retirement home on the shores of Lake Houston where many beautiful sunsets were enjoyed. His business spirit continued to grow, and in 1998 he started Foundation Savers, Inc., specializing in structural foundation repair. He and Eileen also designed and built a professional building in Crosby under the name of 2100 Properties, LP. He also was a member of the Business Management Advisory Board at San Jacinto College for several years.
LeRoy’s love for aviation never lessened. He maintained his private pilot’s license throughout the years and was active as a Major in the Civil Air Patrol, helping to found the Trinity Bay Composite Squadron. Major Haws personally took many cadets up for their first orientation flight in his own Piper Tri-Pacer airplane, hoping to instill his love of flying in these young people.
He enjoyed traveling with Eileen, family, and friends and went to Alaska (his favorite), Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean, Tybee Island for his 40th wedding anniversary, Puerto Rico, Las Vegas, Istanbul, Rome, Venice, the Mediterranean Islands, and Seattle where he flew a seaplane for the first time. He also went on numerous cruises including up the Mississippi River on the Delta Queen.
He loved his grandchildren, and one of his most emotional moments came as a surprise when his grandson’s name was announced as Nathan Haws Warnock. He made sure to be there when his granddaughter, Katherine Ryan Warnock, was born. He took Nathan and Katie on trips to Disney World, Moody Gardens, Schlitterbahn, Great Wolf Lodge, and on the Grapevine North Pole Express at Christmas.
LeRoy was a true gentleman whose legacies include being a wonderful and supportive husband, father, and grandfather, his fearless spirit in starting and owning his own businesses, his resolute strength that was evident in everything he did, and his enjoyment of being with family and friends. He loved the challenges and excitement of working for himself and flying. He took his last flight to his eternal home on December 14, 2018.
LeRoy was proceeded in death by his parents, Roy and Vera Haws. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Eileen Haws; daughter and son-in-law, Kim and Brian Warnock; grandchildren Nathan and Katie Warnock; and brother and sister-in-law, Joe and Mary Haws.
Donations may be made to:
Civil Air Patrol Cadet Programs