He also spent much of his personal life focused on wellness.
“We’re not sit-at-home people,” said Zimmerman, a retired school physical education teacher. “We didn’t really have downtime.”
Mr. Haberstro was a voracious reader who focused mostly on reading books by wellness gurus, or about urban, transportation or public health planning, as well as culture and history.
He loved family gatherings, where his creative sense of fun was on full display, especially for nieces and nephews.
“He was a promoter of Buffalo from when I can’t remember,” said a younger brother, Jim. “I loved him as a brother but maybe more importantly, I admired him.”
Mr. Haberstro and Giardino handled the lobbying and legwork that led the National Civic League in 1996 and 2002 to name Buffalo an All America City. The designation symbolizes the ability of citizens, government, businesses and nonprofit organizations to jointly address regional issues and produce results.
Mr. Haberstro tried unsuccessfully to get the recognition three times before he succeeded. Those who knew him best said the effort symbolized his greatest strength: an unwavering focus on collaboration to improve and inspire the hometown region he loved.
He used charm, an extensive network of contacts and, when needed, an unmatched tenacity in that mission, said John Craik, executive director of the Population Health Collaborative, a regional health planning agency.