William Joseph Haberlein


William Joseph Haberlein, experienced gatherer and lifelong learner, died Wednesday morning Feb. 16, 2022, at his home in El Paso, Texas, after a two-year battle with esophageal cancer. He was 74 years old.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents Jack and Marty Haberlein, and by his brother Fred Haberlein, famous artist and muralist.

Bill is survived by his wife Benja Gayle Gaines, his son, Gene Wesley, and two children by a previous marriage, Jennifer Wilson and Dr. Larry Wilson, who live in Tampa, Fla.

Bill was born on Nov. 14, 1947, in Tulsa, Okla., where his father worked as a petroleum engineer.  When Bill was 12 years old, on April 8, 1960, his family moved to Antonito, Colo., where they lived and ran the Conejos Ranch for many years.

Bill was a Renaissance man. He assisted many with his legal knowledge as an experienced paralegal, Real Estate Broker, and contractor. He was an amateur pilot, Taekwondo red belt, and shared a birthday with his greatly respected Shotokan Karate instructor in Denver, Sensei Yutaka Yaguchi.

In his youth, Bill was also Deputy Sheriff in Antonito. Bill was known for his helpfulness, honesty, integrity, and brilliance.

Bill will be greatly missed by all those that relied on him for wisdom, humor, and companionship. He was a loyal friend and most loving husband and father.

A Celebration of Life will be scheduled in Antonito, Colo., sometime in the summer of 2022 to ensure the safety of the attendees. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the American Cancer Society.

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