Lloyd Leo Haak, a Chevrolet dealership general manager who made lasting relationships with his customers, died of heart disease Wednesday at his home in the Phoenix community of Baltimore County. He was 72.
Born in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, he was the son of William Arthur Haak, a heavy-equipment salesman, and Katharine Martin, a homemaker who later worked at St. Joseph’s Hospital.
His family moved to Baltimore when he was nearly 3 years old. He attended Immaculate Conception School in Towson and was a 1968 graduate of Towson Catholic High School.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of Tampa.
While in Tampa, he took a job as an auto dealership lot boy — he washed and moved cars at Morsani Motors, a Mercedes-Benz dealership.
He immediately went into automotive sales when he returned to Baltimore. He joined Brooks Buick in Towson and began a sales career that lasted 50 years.
He initially met his future wife, Susan Anecharico, while working for her father’s business, Valley Chevrolet. Their first date was to the Port of Georgetown restaurant in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Haak briefly sold cars coming off their leases from Peterson, Howell & Heather, an auto fleet firm based in Hunt Valley.
“He also had the ability to tell a customer they were buying the wrong car for their needs,” his wife said. “The ones who listened came back.”
He joined Bill Kidd’s Timonium Toyota in 1981 as a salesman and became a sales manager.
He later acquired a partnership at Adams Jeep of Maryland in Aberdeen.
In 2003, he and his son, Dax Christopher Haak, jointly purchased a Chestertown Chrysler Jeep Dodge dealership.
“He taught me we don’t sell cars; we take care of customers like family. We never talked car specifics. We talked the customer,” his son said. “He loved being around people.”
His son said Mr. Haak’s favorite vehicle was the Chevrolet Tahoe.
“My husband’s automotive career spanned three generations; his customers brought their children and later their grandchildren to him for car purchases,” his wife said. “They followed him. He pampered them and cared for them.”
In 2012, he became general manager at Wantz Chevrolet in Taneytown.
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“He had a terrible memory for names, but he could tell you the particulars of every car he sold,” his wife said.
Ron Landsman, a friend, said: “Lloyd worked through his knowledge of people and his understanding what people want, and he accomplished tasks with innate knowledge. He knew people, and he knew what motivated them.”
Mr. Haak served on the advisory board of Stella Maris hospice and nursing care for more than 20 years. He was a lector at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Cockeysville.
“My father would say every problem has a solution. He was innovative in how he accomplished this,” said his daughter, Jill Haak Bohnenkamp. “If anyone was feeling sad or having a hard time, he could turn that situation around.”
A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church at 100 Church Lane in Cockeysville.
Survivors include his wife of 44 years, Susan Anecharico, a Park School teaching assistant and former paralegal; a son, Dax Haak of Parkton; a daughter, Jill Haak Bohnenkamp of Washington, D.C.; two sisters, Katharine “Bonnie” Haglund of North Dakota and Patricia Haak of Timonium; two brothers, Martin Haak of Chicago and Gerald Haak of Havre de Grace; and five grandchildren.