Starke County is mourning the loss of a prominent community member who passed away this week. Michael Haugh of North Judson, 73, devoted his life to the service of others, building upon the communities in which he lived to improve the quality of life for his neighbors and everyone in the community.
Haugh moved to North Judson with his wife Joan and their four children in 1971, but before then he served the Highland community through different organizations. He was a board member for the community hospital in Munster, the parish council of Our Lady of Grace, and he was a member of the Sanitary District of Highland, the Jaycees, and the YMCA. In fact, in 1971, Haugh was named the Outstanding Young Man of the Year by the Jaycees.
While in Starke County, however, Haugh served as North Judson Town Board President, Starke County Councilman, County Auditor, and he also served on the pastoral council at Our Lady of Holy Cross. He was an active member of SS. Cyril and Methodius Parish Council, where he served as lector, Eucharist minister, teacher, pastoral council, and finance council.
The number of organizations benefited by Haugh’s participation is nearly endless. Haugh was instrumental in seeking the Indiana Department of Commerce Community Focus Grant while chairman of the Building Fund Committee for the Council on Aging. The $290,000 grant allowed the Council on Aging to purchase and renovate the building at 311 E. Culver Road, which remains their place of business to this day.
Haugh was even given the honor of receiving the prestigious Henry F. Schricker Award on Nov. 12, 2005, commemorating his “service before self” attitude. He was also awarded the Older Hoosier of the Year distinction in 1999.
Mike and Joan Haugh were both awarded the “Distinguished Hoosier Award” on Sept. 3, 2010 – their 50th wedding anniversary.