Dr. Merle “Ben” Haney, M.D., age 92, of Almont, MI died Wednesday, March 27, 2019 from complications of the flu at William Beaumont Hospital of Troy, MI. Merle Bennett Haney was born May 2, 1926 in Winona Lake, IN. He was the son of Ralph and Mary (Van Dyke) Haney.
Dr. Haney grew up in Warsaw, IN. He graduated from Warsaw High School, Class of 1944. After graduation, he enlisted in the United States Navy. He served from June 1944 through June 1946 during World War II in the Pacific theater. Following his service in the Navy, he earned his bachelor’s degree in the sciences with cum laude honors in 1950 from Manchester College in North Manchester, IN. While at Manchester College, he met his future wife “Ruthie.” Ben married Ruth Ann Jones December 27, 1952 in Winona Lake, IN. Ben earned his Doctorate of Medicine in 1954 from Northwestern University in Chicago, IL where his grandfather, Dr. George Henry Van Dyke also received his doctorate degree.
Dr. Haney had his internship at Chicago Wesley Memorial Hospital in 1955. During his residency, Ben worked at Passavant Memorial Hospital in Chicago, IL (1955-1957), Veterans Lakeside Hospital in Chicago, IL (1957-1958), Passavant Memorial Hospital as fellow chief surgical resident (1958-1959), and Snyder Clinic in Winfield, KS (1959-1960).
In 1960, Dr. Haney, his wife Ruth, together with their three children moved to Almont, MI in order for Dr. Haney to enter into practice with Dr. G. Clare Bishop. In 1968, Dr. Haney opened a private practice on North Main St. in Almont, MI. In the 1990s, Dr. Haney moved his practice and joined Dr. Harrington in Imlay City. In 1995, he joined the McLaren Hospital system until his retirement in 2002.
Dr. Haney was a member of the Almont Archery Club, an Almont Congregational Church Sunday school teacher, an Almont School Board Member from 1968 – 1972, a member of Imlay City United Methodist Church and Lay Elder, and past president of the Lapeer County Medical Society. Ben enjoyed sewing, photography, gardening and loved trees. He also loved athletic sports, was an avid Almont Raider fan, and was inducted into the Almont High School Athletic Hall of Fame on September 7, 2018 for providing free physicals to Almont athletes for over 25 years.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth Ann Haney, on March 3, 2003. Ben married Faye Wallace Bristol July 16, 2005 in Almont, MI. His wife, Faye Bristol, preceded him in death on August 17, 2015. He lost his son, Paul Bennett Haney, in 1983; an infant sister at birth; his brother, George Robert Haney, in 2019; his brother, Rollin Joel Haney, in 2010; and his stepson, Kenneth Bristol in 2017.
He is survived by his daughters, Beth (Bob Heckart) Haney-Heckart and JoAnn (Jerry Herbert) Haney; his brother Paul Jacob Haney and his sister Margaret Ellen Palmer; his two grandchildren, Rebecca (Nick) Demeduk and Carolyn (Eric Williams) Herbert; one great-grandchild, Ellie Demeduk; his step-children, David (Mary) Bristol, Paul (Susan) Bristol, Ellen (George Wilson) Bristol and Beth Bristol. He also left behind many nieces, nephews and friends.
Dr. Haney was a general surgeon and practitioner but one of his greatest joys was his OB-GYN practice. He delivered hundreds of babies during his almost 50 years in practice. Over the years, photos of the mothers and babies were taken by his office staff and displayed for a period of time in the office, and later put away by Dr. Haney in a cherished special file. If you are one of Dr. Haney’s “legacy” babies or a relative of one of those babies, the family welcomes you to the Celebration of Life visitation or the Celebration of Life memorial service to look through the mother and baby photos and take the picture home with you.
The family will welcome friends for the Celebration of Life visitation on Wednesday, May 1 between 1-3 p.m. and between 5-7 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Almont, 201 E. St. Clair, Almont, MI. A Celebration of Life memorial service will be held on Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 11 a.m. with both Reverend Bill King, pastor of First Congregational Church of Almont, and Reverend Dr. Marcel Lamb, pastor of Imlay City United Methodist Church, officiating at the First Congregational Church of Almont, 201 E. St. Clair, Almont, MI. Those wishing to make memorial contributions may either plant a tree in Dr. Haney’s memory or contribute to Northwestern University – Cancer Research, 7725 Harlem Ave., Bridgeview, IL 60455.
Funeral arrangements were made by Muir Brothers Funeral Home, 225 N. Main Street, Imlay City, MI. Please be sure to sign our online register at muirbrothersfh.com to share condolences.