Cover photo for Father Robert Haberman's Obituary
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1949 Father Robert 2021

Father Robert Haberman

July 22, 1949 — January 24, 2021

A fixture in the local Dominican community for three decades, Father Robert Haberman of San Rafael, CA passed away peacefully Sunday, January 24. He had long battled leukemia and recently had been hospitalized due to complications. He was 71.

Born July 22, 1949, in La Junta, Colorado to Patricia A. and Charles J. Haberman in what would become a large, loving family. Father Bob was the oldest of six children and is survived by his siblings Ed (Sandy) Haberman, Joanne (Jim) Williams, Mary Lou (Mike) Day, John A. (Dawn) Haberman, and Mike Haberman as well as many nieces and nephews.

As a young boy Father Bob was active in 4-H and Mill Iron Wranglers. In addition to gardening and tending his enviable rose gardens, he loved all animals, especially horses, cattle, dogs, and cats—he had several of each over the years. He attended St. Patrick’s Catholic elementary school and then La Junta junior and senior high school.

After high school he attended Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa before entering the seminary in Baltimore, Maryland. Ordained a Catholic priest in 1975, Father Bob’s decision to enter the priesthood stemmed from a young age—something that he seemed determined to do.

Father Bob’s first parish was in Avondale, Colorado before moving to several locations in the Pueblo Diocese. His last ministry in his home state was in Grand Junction before health issues drew him to California, where he served the last thirty years of his life—despite his initial thinking that the relocation would be temporary.

Upon his arrival in San Rafael in 1989, Father Bob began his work at Dominican University of California (Dominican College at the time), serving as director of Campus Ministry, assistant professor (Religious Studies), and most recently as the University's chaplain. A fixture around campus and beloved by faculty and students alike, Father Bob served on various committees/projects during this time, including Residence Hall coordinator, chair of Faculty Forum, Religious Identity Committee, Assessment Committee, and Curriculum committees. He also planned and led numerous service trips and championed the Dominican charism in all his efforts.

Deeply committed to his vocation and to his love of learning he pursued a number of additional educational opportunities: San Francisco Theological Seminary, DMin; St. Mary's University; and additional studies at the University of Jerusalem, Dartmouth University, University of Notre Dame, and the University of San Francisco.

During his years in San Rafael he formed a deep connection with the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael. Not only connected as faculty colleagues at the University, but also as Chaplain for Our Lady of Lourdes Convent where he tended to the spiritual needs of the retired and infirmed sisters by offering daily Mass and often on weekends for three decades in addition to participating in and presiding at funerals, jubilees, and more. He embraced the Dominican values of prayer, community, study, and service as his own. His love of the Dominican community; most especially the students he so deeply cared for and served.

His Dominican connections are far-reaching. Father Bob was often called upon to officiate the weddings of former students, to baptize the children of alumni, and to celebrate the lives of the recently deceased. “We provide all the services,” Fr. Bob once quipped, “hatch, match, and dispatch.” His sense of humor and his gift to be a calming and reassuring presence will most certainly be missed by all who had the good fortune to spend time in his presence.

A graveside committal will be held on Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at the Calvary Cemetery in La Junta.

Online condolences may be made at Peacock-Larsen Funeral Home & Arkansas Valley Crematory is in charge of arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Father Robert Haberman, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, February 6, 2021

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

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