Lureta “Pal” Mildred Doyle Hass, 89, peacefully joined her beloved husband and son in heaven on Tuesday, October 12, 2021.
Pal was born on December 14, 1931, in Pittsfield, Illinois, the oldest daughter of Virgil “Jade” and Elyvon Mildred Westlake Doyle. She loved it when people would ask her how she got her nickname – and she took joy and pride in telling the story. As a little girl she loved to tag along with her dad. Everywhere he went, Pal went with him – so people would naturally ask, “Who do you have with you, Virgil?” and he would respond, “This is my little Pal!” The nickname somehow stuck and she lived up to her moniker. Everywhere she went, her sense of humor and kindness made her everyone’s little Pal.
She was adventurous and loved to ride her pony, King Tut. She would look for any excuse to ride – which included riding all the way from New Hartford to Atlas for piano lessons. She ended up keeping King Tut but gave up on the piano lessons!
Pal was born and raised in Pittsfield and spent most of her life living in the Pittsfield area. As a result, wherever she went, there was someone she knew. Later in life, she moved to live close to her daughter in Bloomington and she would always ask, “What’s new in Pittsfield?” She was truly invested in the city and the people who live there!
She graduated from Pittsfield High School in 1950 and from Chillicothe Business College in 1952. It was there that Pal met Don Hass, the man who was destined to be her soul mate – at least that’s how she told the story! Pal’s college roommate was Helen Hass and at Helen’s insistence, Pal went home with her and met Don who ‘just happened’ to be home on leave. Upon her graduation, the president of the college recommended Pal to a business owner from Kansas City who was looking for a good bookkeeper – and voila – Pal was hired as the bookkeeper of one of the first automated car washes in Kansas City, Mo.!
After a 5-month whirlwind romance, Don and Pal were married in the Pittsfield United Methodist Church, on April 11, his birthday, in 1954. All he wanted for his birthday was to marry Pal! They lived in Kansas City, Mo. for a few years until Virgil figured out a way to get them to move back to Pittsfield – an opportunity for them to own their own business! You see, Virgil always liked to keep his family close.
On January 17, 1958, Pal and Don formed a partnership with Virgil when they purchased the Loyd Hardware store. It was a perfect partnership for Don & Pal. In the early days, Pal was the bookkeeper and part-time cashier, and Don was the primary store employee and managed the business. Years later, they were both overjoyed when their son, Steve, decided to work by their side in the business!
Her love of family was evident in how much she enjoyed celebrating birthdays and holidays. A tradition in the family became the annual singing of ‘Happy Birthday’ that was led by Pal and accompanied by her automated electronic piano. It was something to look forward to on your birthday and you considered yourself lucky if you couldn’t answer the phone and got it as a recorded message instead – so you could play it for friends and enjoy listening to it again and again!
Pal was loving, hardworking, and a friend to all. It is fair to say she didn’t know a stranger. She participated in (we’ve lost track of how many) bridge clubs with friends and she enjoyed dance club, shopping, family visits and playing golf with her husband, friends, and her daughter Pattie. Her sense of humor and feisty side will be greatly missed in her new community of friends at the Villas of Holly Brook in Bloomington. Pal was a loving daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, great grandma, and a loyal friend whose smile and laughter will be tremendously missed.
She is survived by her sister, Jacqualin (Gary) Barker; daughters, Pamela (Randy) Fields and Patricia (Jack) Redd; daughter-in-law, Mary Hass; six grandchildren, Laura (Chris) Briell, Jennifer (Freddie) Hatch, Hillary Fields, Parker Fields, Keegan Fields and Trey Fields; and a great-grandchild, Natalie Tooke.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Elyvon Doyle, father Virgil Doyle, son Steve Hass, and husband Don Hass.
Visitation was Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Airsman-Hires Funeral Home, Pittsfield.
A Celebration of Life followed the visitation at 3 p.m. Saturday Oct. 16, 2021 at Airsman-Hires Funeral Home, Pittsfield.
Memorial contributions are suggested to the Pittsfield United Methodist Church or the American Heart Association.
Airsman-Hires Funeral Home in Pittsfield is in charge of arrangements.
Condolences may be expressed online at www.airsman-hires.com