KENT - Eugene Stuart Haines, 84, died unexpectedly on January 12, 2017 at Strong Memorial Hospital. Gene was born at the family homestead on Pine Hill Road on December 22, 1932.
His parents Wendell and Mildred (McGuire) Haines, and siblings Eleanor M. Kriss, Paul R. Haines and Dorothy L. Campbell, preceded him in death.
While Gene’s military service and career had him traveling the world he was a life-long resident of Orleans County. Gene graduated from Albion High School in 1951 and is a 1953 graduate of Alfred University Ag and Tech. In 1953 Gene entered Naval Flight Training. For over 20 years Gene served in the Navy, and Air National Guard retiring as a Lt. Colonel. Gene was also a pilot for American Airlines for 22 years.
Gene was the owner and operator of Pine Hill Airport. Over the years Gene has been the driving force behind the long standing Pine Hill Fly-in Breakfast. Gene was the founder and Past President of Vintage Aircraft Group (VAG). VAG’s mission is to restore, maintain, operate, and display vintage aircraft and military equipment and to educate the public about aviation, history, and related subjects. Gene also served as chairman for several of Orleans County Hot Air Balloon Festivals and was a past President of the National Warplane Plane Museum.
Gene was married for 54 years to Joette (McKenna) Haines who passed away on July 13, 2014. Gene and Joey were extremely community oriented and have a long history of welcoming people and charitable causes to their home. Both were charter members of the Oak Orchard Neighborhood Association (OONA), enthusiastic advocates for the Oak Orchard Lighthouse Association and supported many other charitable causes. Both were extremely happy spending their final years surrounded by the beauty of Point Breeze.
While never having children Gene and Joey treated everyone like family. Gene and Joey are survived by nine nieces, eleven nephews, a large extended family and countless friends and neighbors. By example, Gene and Joey showed the benefit of hard work, the spirit of generosity and the importance of kindness.
A gathering of family and friends to share stories and memories of Gene will be held SUNDAY JUNE 4th, IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE PANCAKE BREAKFAST AT 12 NOON at the Pine Hill Airport, 4906 Pine Hill Road, Albion, New York. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation to Vintage Aircraft Group (4906 Pine Hill Road, Albion, NY 14411) or Oak Orchard Neighborhood Association (14899 W. Brighton Cliffe Dr, Kent, NY 14477).