Cover photo for Kenneth Wilson Haag's Obituary
Kenneth Wilson Haag Profile Photo
1937 Kenneth 2023

Kenneth Wilson Haag

September 29, 1937 — April 7, 2023

Ken Haag passed away April 7, 2023 at home in Sandpoint, ID after a long illness. Ken was born in 1937 in Chicago, IL and he grew up in West Chicago with his parents Kathryn (Norris) and Woodrow Wilson Haag, his late sister Merrilyn and his brothers Reggie and Sheldon Haag. In 1955 Ken graduated from West Chicago Community High School and met Mary Jo Davis, whom he married the following year. Ken and Mary Jo settled in Winfield, IL in 1962, where they raised their six children Michael, Mary Kay, Christine, Eileen, Steven and Laura. After a distinguished academic and professional career, Ken and Mary Jo retired to Sandpoint ID in 1999 where they’ve enjoyed many active years of skiing, hiking, boating, kayaking, caring for their beloved dogs, horses and hosting many visits from kids and grandkids.


After enlisting in the Army Reserves, Ken enrolled in the Engineering program at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), ultimately earning his PhD in Electrical Engineering in January 1967. Ken was named Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at IIT and was appointed Chairman of the Electrical Engineering department in 1980. Ken later joined Bell Labs (later Lucent Technologies) as a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff (DMS) until his retirement. After moving to Sandpoint, Ken volunteered and became a board member with the Kinnickinnick Native Plant Society and Arboretum, and built the Arboretum trail map kiosk. Ken also volunteered at the Panhandle Animal Shelter and was a member of the Schweitzer Prime Timers group.


Ken’s family will remember him as an exceptional person and role model. He was a dog whisperer, an inventor who could solve any problem, an expert gardener and he had a mischievous sense of humor.  His children will most remember him as the best dad we could ever ask for.


Ken was preceded in death by his parents, Woodrow Wilson and Kathryn Haag, his sister Merrilyn Haag, and his granddaughter Cayla Cooper. Ken is survived by his brothers Reg (the late Kathy) Haag of Sparta, WI, Sheldon (Allene “Butzi”) Haag of Cherry Valley, IL, children Michael Haag of San Francisco, CA, Mary Kay Haag of Middleton, WI, Christine (Kris Walker) Dillon of Middleton, WI, Eileen (Mark) Roman of Chicago, IL, Steven (Karen) Haag of Wausau, WI and Laura Haag of Madison, WI, grandchildren Curtis Haag, Lindsay Dillon, Kelley Dillon, Alexandra (Haag) Stadelmann, Rebecca Haag, Eric Haag,William Cooper, Sarah Cooper, his great-grandson, Julian Stadelmann, and many nieces and nephews.


Ken’s family will gather for a private memorial and internment in West Chicago, IL at a later date.  Donations in his memory may be made to the Kinnickinnick Native Plant Society ( or the American Lung Association (

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