Verdonna (Donnie) Pals Hass, 86, of Tinton Falls, NJ, passed away peacefully February 12, 2022, from complications due to Alzheimer’s. Even as she battled Alzheimer’s, she maintained her loving, caring disposition and still loved to snuggle.
Born and raised in Chicago, Donnie was the only child of John & Signe (Johnson) Pals. At age 20, she married a young man who lived down the street, Ronald Hass. They were married for 32 years, until his passing in 1989 at age 55. She was the outgoing social one, and he was the shy intellectual.
They moved to New Jersey in 1959 when Ron started work with Bell Labs and purchased a home in Tinton Falls. They had three children before relocating to Illinois in 1966 due to a job transfer. They built a home in Wheaton where they had another daughter. There they remained until 1981, when another Bell Labs transfer brought them back to New Jersey, this time settling in Holmdel. In 2014, she moved to Seabrook Senior Living Community in Tinton Falls.
Donnie’s greatest joy was enjoying her grandchildren and taking care of them while their parents worked. For 25 years, she provided homework support, prepared meals, provided transportation and was there at the end of the school day to listen to the day’s highs and lows. She was a well-known fixture at her grandchildren’s bus stop chatting with the kids and their parents. She happily attended all of their sporting events, ballet and piano recitals, and school activities. She always had Skittles and plenty of treats at the ready. She shared her love of movies, both old and new, with her grandchildren.
Donnie was a social butterfly with many friends whom she cared about deeply. She was always delighted to see them whether it was going out to eat, seeing a Broadway play, shopping, going to the movies, or simply sitting in the kitchen chatting away. She was always concerned about others and was a fantastic listener. She was the one you called when you had a problem. No judgment – she just listened and offered sound advice if asked. She could easily be on the phone for hours. In fact, her children would often sit nearby and listen so they could tap into all the local gossip!
Donnie enjoyed cooking and entertaining. The “Great Room” in her Holmdel house was legendary and hosted many holiday and family events. The most memorable was always Christmas Eve. Friends and family would gather to enjoy homemade Swedish meatballs (an old family recipe) and open gifts. Santa always visited the Hass house on Christmas Eve.
Donnie was creative and loved to quilt, knit, and paint. Her children still have many of her paintings and quilts. She enjoyed tennis, golf, and bowling. Later in life, she was a patient representative at Bayshore Hospital – utilizing her inherent caring nature to help those in need.
Throughout her life, she was a dedicated volunteer. She was a Girl Scout Leader, Den Mother, Room Mom, and a PTA school fundraiser chair. She also organized many township trips with Holmdel Recreation Committee and supported Meals on Wheels.
Surviving are her children Laura & Charles Sokolski, Amy & Ted Mikolasy, Brian & Colette Hass and Carol Hass; her grandchildren Amanda, Adam, Harmon and Sam & Rachel and great granddaughter Camden.
In lieu of customary remembrances, donations may be made in Donnie’s memory to Alzheimer’s Association; www.alz.org.