PUT-IN-BAY, Ohio - Harold D. Hauck, a pilot and airport manager who
transported thousands of tourists and local residents among the Lake
Erie islands off Port Clinton, died of congestive heart failure Saturday
at the Western Reserve Community retirement center, Medina, Ohio. He was
Mr. Hauck shuttled air passengers in small aircraft for more than 30
years from Port Clinton to North Bass, Middle Bass, and other islands in
western Lake Erie.
He also managed the airport’s Island Airlines from 1950 until he retired
about 1982. He logged more than 15,000 hours on the 15-seat Ford
Tri-Motor "Tin Goose" airplanes.
During the summer, he flew up to 20 flights a day for the airline,
billed as the world’s smallest airline because its longest leg was just
11 miles. In winter, he flew children daily to and from school at
Put-in-Bay and transported ill residents.
"He would go in snowstorms and any kind of weather safe enough to get
people to the hospital," Sandra Brausch, his daughter, said. "He was
just everybody’s lifeline."
He also flew supplies to the islands and learned how to control unruly
"He talked about keeping a stick close by to keep the drunks back who
wanted to try to fly the plane," she said.
Born in Port Clinton, he grew up on Catawba Island, graduating in 1940
from Port Clinton High School. An Army veteran, he was an ambulance
driver during World War II.
Surviving are his wife, Mary; daughters, Jane Hauck, Patricia Mangas,
and Sandra Brausch; sons, Harold, Jr., and Kevin; seven grandchildren,
and three great-grandchildren.
There will be no visitation. Graveside services will be private.
Arrangements are by the Waite & Son Funeral Home in Medina. The family
suggests tributes to the Lake Erie Islands Historical Society.
for the item on Harold Hauck's passing.
I didn't know him very well and I think I first met him in the
Rhodes family kitchen.
Didn't he live directly across the road from the Rhodes' ?
Once, over at the Bay, I was sitting with someone out at the
airport waiting for a person to arrive on the Goose. There was a two seater
(Beech, Piper, whatever) sitting at a catty cornered angle to the airstrip. All
of a sudden, Harold comes out of the terminal (Hah) with a young gal. They get
in the plane and he takes the goddam thing off crossways to the strip. He didn't
taxi right or left and, as I recall, he barely got the motor going and they were
airborne. I guess wind direction was of no importance to him. It was the
goddamdest thing I ever saw.
After seeing that event, I can recall thinking that Harold will
never die in bed. The fact that he did, certainly attests to his flying skills.
Another Catawba "one-of-a-kind."