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Thomas Haas, 86, former Egremont Selectman, television news director

Tom had a strong sense of justice, fairness, character and truth. He loved the excitement of live television and worked on various shows as Director or Production Chief.

Egremont —Thomas Haas, 86, former advertising executive and Egremont Selectman, passed away on February 7, 2016. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Juliette, his sister Nancy Dreyer and children Cynthia Magill, Nancy Dazig, Hugh Haas, Fredrick Haas and Diana Haas. Tom is also survived by nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. His eldest son Tom Jr. predeceased him in 2001.

Thomas Haas, with his wife Juliette, in a wedding photo.
Thomas Haas, with his wife Juliette, in a wedding photo.

Tom was a kind, intelligent man with a radiant smile and compassionate heart. He had a strong sense of justice, fairness, character and truth. Tom was born in Baltimore, Md., but lived in many places throughout his life: Manhattan, Beverly Hills, St. Thomas, Malibu, Boston, London, Montana to name a few. He moved to Egremont in 2000.

Tom attended Loyola Military Academy in Manhattan, Haverford Prep in Haverford, Pennsylvania, and the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business. Realizing he would rather follow more creative pursuits than enter the world of business, he landed his first job at the television station WFIL in Philadelphia as a “grip” or gofer. Television was then in its infancy and Tom rose through the ranks to eventually become News Director. While at ABC News in Washington, D.C., in the early 1950s Tom was part of a news team that covered the infamous Army McCarthy hearings. Also in the early 1950s he worked with bandleader Paul Whiteman and directed a T.V. talent show similar to “American Idol.”

He was taken under the wing of advertising legend Dan Seymour and joined the advertising firm J. Walter Thompson. He loved the excitement of live television and worked on various shows as Director or Production Chief. While working on an educational grant from Westinghouse TV and Harvard University, he directed a series of television documentaries with topics as varied as police corruption, the educational system of the former Soviet Union and mental health.

Additionally he worked in the advertising department for Monsanto (fiber division) and established a highly successful in-house advertising department for the U.S. branch of the International Wool Secretariat, creating many memorable print, radio and television campaigns.

A great joy for Tom was to share his lifetime of experience and knowledge the same way he was mentored in his younger days. His generous nature shone through to the very end. Those who knew Tom will miss his hearty laugh and his kind soul.

A memorial service will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers Tom’s family asks any donations be made to the Egremont Fire Department.

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Teresa Mae Kosberg, 89, formerly of Great Barrington

A memorial celebration will be announced at a later date.

Michael Filmus of Great Barrington

Services will take place at the Elmwood Cemetery in Great Barrington.

Andrew Russell Humes, 66, formerly of Great Barrington

A memorial will be held on Saturday, September 7, at the John P. Humes Japanese Stroll Garden and the Tavern House at the Humes Preserve headquarters in Mill Neck, N.Y., Andrew's childhood home.

The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.