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Paul Haney


from the Alamogordo News


Paul Haney Being the ultimate newspaper reporter, Paul wrote this obit in 2000 before it was discovered that he had cancer. This is what he would have you know: Paul Haney, a longtime newsman who worked with NASA in its early days, died May 28, 2009, of cancer at Casa Arena Blanca nursing home. He was 80 years old. Haney was born in Akron, Ohio, on July 20, 1928, to Martin D. and Louise B. Haney and grew up in Tallmadge, Ohio. He was one of six children, two sisters and three brothers. He put himself through suburban Kent State University by working nights for The Associated Press. Before serving two years in the Navy during the Korean War, he worked for the Erie (Pa.) Times. After he left the Navy, he worked as a reporter at the Washington Evening Star. In 1958, Haney left the Star to go to work for the start-up space agency NASA. He pioneered a real-time system of reporting events, as they happened, in the first manned flight program, Project Mercury. In 1963, NASA transferred him to Houston, where he became chief of public affairs for the then-Manned Spacecraft Center (now Johnson Space Center), which directed manned Gemini and Apollo flights to the moon. During these early missions, he worked in the Mission Control Center as the "Voice of Mission Control," reporting live, real-time launch information to the TV public and to news media covering the launches. He left NASA in 1969 to work in London for Independent Television News (ITN) and The Economist news magazine. In the 1970s and '80s, he worked for newspapers in Houston, Charleston, S.C., St. Petersburg, Fla., and El Paso. Since 1989, Haney lived in retirement on a five-acre cherry orchard in High Rolls, 12 miles east of Alamogordo. In 2008, Haney and his wife, Jan, moved from High Rolls to Alamogordo as his cancer continued to spread. He and Jan were married in 1967. He is survived by his wife, Janet Haney; two living children from a previous marriage, Maura Haney Ford, of El Dorado Hills, Calif., and Megan Haney Reeves and her husband, Paul, also of El Dorado Hills; and one stepson, Richard Shrum and his wife, Francis, of El Paso. He is also survived by one sister, Mary Wilson, of Stow, Ohio; grandchildren Kelsey and Kyle Witherow of El Dorado Hills, Daniel Reeves of Roseville, Calif., Dani and Carye Shrum and Quee Williams, all of El Paso, Quint Cantrell of Arizona; a first cousin, Mary Wuest and her husband, Henry, of Fairlawn, Ohio; a brother-in-law, James Myers, of Baton Rouge, La.; a sister-in-law, Badiha Haney, of San Rafael, Calif.; as well as 20 nephews and nieces scattered across the country. Haney was preceded in death by his parents, Martin and Louise Haney; his two boys, Michael and Daniel Haney; one sister, Betty Myers, of Baton Rouge; and three brothers, Thomas (and Theresa) Haney of Akron, John Haney (and Alice) of Doylestown, Ohio, and Kevin Haney of San Rafael. Haney will be cremated and his ashes placed in a crypt at Forest Park East Cemetery in League City, Texas, just south of Houston, at a later date. A memorial service will be conducted at the Alamogordo Funeral Home at 4 p.m. Saturday, June 20, 2009. Those in attendance are invited to join us immediately afterward at the Desert Palms Mobile Home Estates, 2000 E. First Street, in the community recreation center for good conversation, memories and refreshments. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a contribution in Paul's name may do so to the New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo, or an Alamogordo cancer association such as Alamogordo Home Care-Hospice or the CAPPED organization. It was his wish that contributions be given to help those in need in the Alamogordo area. The Haney family has entrusted their loved one to the care of Alamogordo Funeral Home to direct the arrangements.