The legacy of a 2001 Brunswick High School graduate will live on through a new scholarship created in his name.

U.S. Army Capt. David Haas, originally of Brunswick, died July 28, 2012, while on duty in South Korea. He was 29.

Haas “loved public service and was planning to become a high school counselor or teacher when his military career was complete,” according to a tribute to him posted at the high school’s scholarship website. “Known for his infectious laugh, beaming smile and his ability to forever bring out the best in family, friends, strangers and colleagues, David’s enduring legacy continues to affect all who knew him.”

“It is the hope of all those who loved and miss David that in his honor we can pass along and continue David’s spirit of public service and generosity.”

The Brunswick High School class of 2001 and Haas’ family and friends are raising money to create The David Haas Memorial Scholarship: need-based cash assistance made in Haas’ name through the Brunswick Area Student Aid Fund to graduating Brunswick High School seniors.

Haas was born in Newport News, Va., and relocated to Brunswick in 1987 with his family — parents Joseph and Annette Haas and two older siblings, Marc and Kirsten. He attended Jordan Acres Elementary School, Brunswick Junior High School and Brunswick High School, from which he graduated in 2001 as president of his senior class.

Haas won an Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps scholarship that allowed him to attend the University of Richmond, where he graduated with a degree in history in 2005.

After graduation, he accepted a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Assigned to the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas, Haas was twice deployed to Iraq and later graduated from the U.S. Army Logistics School in 2011.

“Haas was beloved by many people,” said Andrew McCullough a teacher at Brunswick High School who graduated with Haas in 2001 and served as a class officer with Haas.

The two were close, growing up together as kids, and it was McCullough whose personal interest largely triggered creation of the scholarship.

McCullough said classmates attending the funeral asked class officers what they could do to memorialize Haas. “We talked to his parents and family,” he said, “and the idea of a scholarship was presented.”

The planning to organize the scholarship began last September and hopes to raise enough money for the nonprofit Brunswick Area Student Aid Fund to invest and expand the fund.

McCullough said Haas had talked about coming back to Maine and to Brunswick. McCullough said he would often come visit him and other teachers at the school, where he was a presence and where people looked forward to seeing him. “He was very committed to Brunswick,” McCullough said.

“I think with a scholarship, remembering both David and who he was as a person, but also continuing his advocacy and what he believed in,” can be more fitting than a stone or a bench, McCullough said.

It sounds cliché, “trying to make something good out of something terrible, but I think that’s part of the goal here.”

Donations can be made via PayPal by visiting the scholarship website at www.brunswick.k12.me.us/david-haas-scholarship/ or with cash or check sent to David Haas Memorial Scholarship, c/o Brunswick Area Student Aid Fund, P.O. Box 867, Brunswick, ME 04011.

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