Barbara Haas

July 14, 2024 - September 23, 2009

Barbara D. (Yunk) Haas, 69, of Pine Township, formerly of Franklin Park and Valparaiso, died Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009, of pancreatic cancer. She was a former national president of Women In Communications Inc. Mrs. Haas helped to found the Pittsburgh chapter of Women In Communications Inc. She was elected national president of the 10,000-member organization when she was just 38, while director of communications for Quaker Valley Schools, and assumed the presidency a year later, at the end of 1979. During her tenure, the organization took a leadership role in rallying groups to push for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. WICI’s “Family of Americans for the ERA” featured a l0-foot high house made of planks, identifying each state that already had ratified the amendment. The house, meant to signify the demand for a permanent home for the Equal Rights Amendment in the U.S. Constitution, toured the country and was showcased at the 1980 Republican National Convention in Detroit. Mrs. Haas received a B.S. from Penn State University School of Journalism in 1962 and a master’s degree in management from La Roche College in 1982. She also graduated from the Stonier Graduate School of Banking in 1992, and her thesis was published in the Harvard Review. Mrs. Haas spent her career as a communicator. She led the public relations department at West Penn Hospital before moving to Equibank in 1985. She also was an adjunct professor of journalism at Duquesne University. In 1986, Mrs. Haas accepted a job as senior vice president with Gainer Bank of Northwest Indiana, splitting her time between two homes and leading the way, once again, in a new class of so-called “commuter couples.” She was lured away by Northern Indiana Public Service Co. and later moved to the utility company’s for-profit division. Mrs. Haas then took her message of communication to a global audience, working with utilities in The Netherlands and Puerto Rico as well as around the United States to develop customer-friendly programs. Throughout her life and career, Mrs. Haas received numerous awards for both professional achievements and contributions to the community. She was an active member of both the national and local boards of directors of the Myasthenia Gravis Association. She is survived by her husband, Norbert Haas, of Gibsonia; daughter Susan Hass, of Leesburg. Va.; daughter and son-in-law, Cynthia and Chris Bullinger, of Nashville; and son, Craig Hass, of Pittsburgh. Her sister, Bonnie Karl, lives in East Rochester, N.Y., and sister, Marilyn Yunk, lives in Columbia, Md. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Mrs. Hass’ name to the Myasthenia Gravis Association of Western Pennsylvania, 490 E. North Ave., Suite 410, Pittsburgh, PA 15212 or

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  • Margaret A McKechnie

    I knew Barbara because of Women in Communications of which we were both members. She was a strong leader and it is easy to see why she was so successful in all of her ventures. She will be missed.


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