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Eugene “Gene” Herman Haug, age 85 of St. Michael, Minnesota, passed away peacefully  April 15, 2024.

Born on May 17, 1938, in Brooklyn, NY, to Eugene and Johanna (Leedgens) Haug, Gene spent his childhood years in New Jersey, graduating from Summit High School in 1956.

After briefly serving in the Navy, he pursued higher education at NYU, earning a bachelor’s degree that would pave the way for a successful career. Gene’s professional life led him through various roles, from reporter and editor at the Herald Tribune in New York to positions in public relations for companies like Crucible Steel, Welch’s, Byer and Bohman, and Ketchum, MacLeod & Grove. While at Ketchum, MacLeod & Grove he worked on the Bob Evans Farm account and created the Annual Bob Evans Farm Festival, which just celebrated its 52nd anniversary, and its Annual International Chicken Flying Meet.  In the 1980s he taught seminarians in St. Paul while pursuing a Master’s Degree in Latin and Greek. Later in his career, he worked in printing at Sexton, May, and Source.  He was also a database specialist for U.S. West before transitioning to an independent mortgage closer, finally retiring in 2019.

He was first married to Robyn (Near), with whom he raised their children Matt, Jessica, and their adopted son Wil. On August 30, 1997, he married Ardell “Ardie” Achterkirch. Through this union, he welcomed her adult children Todd, Troy, and Marc into his heart, expanding his family with love and care. Gene’s love for his family knew no bounds. He was a pillar of support for his children, proudly attending their ballet recitals, scout meetings, sporting events, and school functions.

Gene was a man of many interests and passions. A voracious reader and lifelong learner, he had a thirst for knowledge and was an armchair philosopher and historian. Although he had a quiet demeanor, his words were filled with wisdom, insight, and kindness. He liked to travel, especially returning to the East Coast where he had spent his youth. One of the highlights of his later years was a memorable trip to the Black Hills to celebrate his 80th birthday. He also enjoyed watching Star Trek, proudly claiming his status as a “Trekkie”.  Gene loved to eat and was often first, second and last in line, finishing with anything chocolate. His dry sense of humor never failed to bring a smile – he would have found it appropriate to make a joke about his date of passing. As they say, the only certainties in life are death and taxes, and Gene certainly had a knack for impeccable timing even in his final moments.

Gene is preceded in death by his parents, Eugene and Johanna; sisters, Gerardine Blatnika, Norena Gainey, and Christine McCartney; brothers-in-law, John Gainey, John Struck and Joe Blatnika.

He is survived by his loving wife, Ardie; children, William (Janette) Haug, Matthew (Jo) Haug, and Jessica Haug (Kyle Thompson); step-children, Todd (Diane) Achterkirch, Troy (Jennifer) Achterkirch, and Marc (Jillene) Achterkirch; grandchildren, Megan (Mark Wensole), Miranda, Abigail, Erin, Magdalena, and Lorraine; step- grandchildren, Emily, Alana, Margo, Ella, Grant, Molly, and Avery; great-grandchild, Nathaniel; brother, Bruce (Anna May) Haug; brother-in-law Brian (Enid) Johnson; sister-in-law, Lori Struck; and many other relatives and friends.

Sending a heartfelt thank you to the compassionate staff at Lake Ridge for the outstanding care provided to Gene. Your kindness will be forever appreciated.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, April 26, 2024 at 11:00 AM with visitation beginning one hour prior at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Anoka, MN (525 Jackson Street).

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to The Peterson Chapel of St. Michael-Albertville. Online condolences for the family may be directed to

Memorials may be directed to family wishes.

4 Guestbook Entries

  1. Gayle Weber

    I am so sorry for your loss. You are in my prayers.


  2. Patricia Jenkins

    I am so sorry for your loss. I remember when you first met Gene. He was so nice and interesting to talk to. You were so lucky to have found such a nice man to spend so much of your life with.
    My condolences go out to you and your family.
    Take care!

  3. Lana Bolton

    Gene sounds like a remarkable guy. He will surely be missed. So sorry about your loss, Ardie. Love, Lana Bolton

  4. Marilyn & Sheldon Barthel

    So sorry for your loss. May he RIP🙏🏻


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