Personal Blog

Another of my NWA chiefs has passed on: Ed Habeger

Ed was one of my ‘chiefs’ at Northwest Airlines in Anchorage for decades. I had many unforgettable experiences with him.

#1: I’ll be forever grateful for the time he caught me hiding the truth (lying) about the damage I accidentally caused to the bobtail’s door over 35 years ago. I felt so guilty after he confronted me. I then told the truth, and have been honest to a fault ever since — never wanting to feel that again. Thank you, Ed for teaching me that important lesson so early on in life!!!

Another landmark: just before he retired, during a meeting in the break room, he apologized to anyone he may have hurt “at one time or another” — having been quite a character.

I was so blessed to hear him say that, I congratulated him — clapped and/or said something in front of the group. [Nobody from that generation ever apologized — was my experience. But Ed just did!!] I then followed him onto the freight floor. He was smiling, and told me how good that felt.

I was a bit saddened that some others weren’t at that meeting to also hear, and that one-on-one reconcilations were perhaps few, but this outstandingly man of him, big-time, to do what I don’t recall any of his peers ever doing.

Ed was one of the gutsiest people. He’d be the first to climb up a stuck pallet or go out on a limb…. I remember him putting out his hand for me to pull him out of an awkward situation. In that way, he was personable.

“Get me the bar” may be his most famous statement. He loved using the almost 4-foot pry bar to solve any or our 747 main deck challenges.

Working with and for Ed was quite an experience!

Edward Arthur “Ed” Habeger (1943 – 2017)


Ed Habeger of Anchorage, Alaska, passed away at his residence on Sept. 25, 2017, at age 74. Cremation arrangements were entrusted to the Cremation Society of Alaska. There will be a Celebration of Life in Honor of Ed in Alaska and Minnesota this summer – later dates to be announced.
Ed was born on Dec. 23, 1943. He grew up in Garden City, Minn., the son of the late Elwood “Woody” and Lucille Habeger (Zuhlsdorf) of Winnebago, Minn. Ed’s siblings are Sandy (Arlo) Jaeger of Garden City, Minn., Carol (Michael) Rollings of Dalton, Neb., and Wes (Paula) Habeger of Duluth, Minn.; and several nieces and nephews.
Ed’s great love was of the outdoors. He was a devoted hunter, fisherman and worldwide traveler, and he lived his life to the fullest.
Ed graduated from Garden City-Wellcome Memorial High School in 1960. He was known to be quite a prankster, which carried throughout his life. His alias was “Eddie Haskell” of the neighborhood, from the TV show “Leave It to Beaver.”
He loved his country and served four years in the United States Air Force. He was a member of The Home of Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, Fla.
Ed belonged to a parachute club. He actually parachuted into our hometown football field during halftime.
Ed worked for and retired from Anchorage Northwest Orient (BONG) Airlines as a chief in the freight department/airline ground support.

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  1. Curt Jensen

    Great tribute, Jeff!

    Best regards,


  2. I also wrote this in a Facebook comment:

    Ed was almost a bigger-than-life character. He had a great impact on our operation in many ways. He was a getter-done, whatever-it-takes, jump-right-in guy — and was so up front and real — and personable. I was so proud of him when he gave that short talk in the break room. And he looked so happy afterwards, when we had that short talk.

    But I don’t know if many of the others got it, how significant that was for him.

    And I’m so glad he set me straight so early on. Instead of talking behind my back, he just told me.

    We need more people like that.

    I’m also thinking that I don’t think Ed held grudges. Things could get intense, but later (maybe days or a week later) there were no hard feelings.

    I remember him holding out his hand so I would help pull him out of his tight spot, where he was troubleshooting. He could have gotten out on his own, but he was a team player – interactive. Really special!

    He was probably a major part of the glue that held us together.

    There was only one Ed, and I’m glad we had the opportunity to work with him.

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