Evelyn Haas, prominent Bay Area philanthropist, dies at 92

Evelyn Haas, philanthropist and matriarch of one of the Bay Area’s most prominent Jewish families, died Feb. 3 in San Francisco. She was 92.

Haas long directed her family foundation, the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund, which has contributed more than $300 million to helping disadvantaged youths, families and the elderly, reducing hunger and homelessness, and encouraging volunteerism and philanthropy.

The fund’s recipients have included the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation and Jewish Family and Children’s Services, and the Jewish Home and Congregation Emanu-El, both in San Francisco.

“The Haas family, including Walter and Evie, was a consistent and significant supporter of the federation,” said Phyllis Cook, former executive director of the S.F.-based Jewish Community Endowment Fund, “and key supporters of the state of Israel from its inception.”

A native of New York, Evelyn Haas moved from the East Coast to San Francisco in 1940 with her husband, Walter A. Haas Jr., a longtime executive with Levi Strauss and Co. and former owner of the Oakland Athletics. He died in 1995.

Haas is survived by sons Robert Haas and Walter J. Haas, daughter Betsy Haas Eisenhart, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. n

— amanda pazornik