Decatur House resident Al Haven (pictured, with his wife Jane) was the oldest of three siblings, and raised in Albany, NY. After graduating high school, he enrolled in Amherst College and later transferred to Williams College on the GI Bill. He graduated from Williams as a naval officer.
During World War II, Al served on a landing ship tank, transporting Marines, supplies, trucks, and equipment to destinations in the Pacific. During his service he took part in the invasion of the Philippines and Okinawa, the American and Filipino campaign to defeat and expel the Imperial Japanese forces occupying the Philippines.
After two years in the Navy he went on to complete his education at MIT, earning a PhD in Chemistry. It was at MIT where he met Jane, a fellow chemistry student who later became his wife. After just six weeks, they were wed and began a long and happy married life. Al is proud to note that Jane was active in the American Association of University Women, working for equal pay for women, a novel cause at the time.
Al enjoyed a distinguished 30- year career as a research chemist with the primary objective to develop chemical compounds for practical household and industrial applications. His research eventually brought him to Tokyo where he lived with his family for three years.
He enjoyed many years of collaborating with scientists around the world on ideas and technologies and finished out his career supervising environmental control sites — environmental efforts that he now says he “hopes proved useful.”
After retirement, Al and Jane moved to their summer home in Wellfleet where Al got involved in local politics and served as Chairman of the Board of Selectmen for three years.
We are pleased and proud to have Al, a distinguished veteran and retired scientist, as a part of our Decatur House community.