Harold Eldred Hagen was born May 1, 1923 to Alfred & Nancy (Anderson) Hagen at his grandmother Amanda Anderson’s home in rural Halma, MN. He passed away on April 17, 2015 at the Kittson Memorial Healthcare Center.
Harold’s mother passed away when he was five years old. His widowed grandmother raised him and his two sisters in her farm home. She was a dear lady who gave them a wonderful home and a loving childhood. He attended a country school near Halma.
Harold’s first job off the farm was on the Soo Line railroad out of Lake Bronson. During World War II, he moved to Renton, Washington and worked for Boeing Aircraft. He took flying lessons and worked with the Civil Air Patrol during the war. After the war was over, he returned to Kittson County and worked at the Keene Farms and then as shop foreman and mechanic at Northwest Implement in Hallock. In 1948 he married Florence Johnson in Hallock. Together, they would raise four children, and care for several foster children.
In 1956 they moved to Oregon, Illinois for one year, where Harold managed a chain saw shop. But Harold’s dad developed complex medical problems, and they moved to Fargo to care for him. In Fargo, Harold was shop foreman and mechanic at Dakota Tractor. In 1962, he took a position also as shop foreman and mechanic for the Kittson County Highway Department, and the family moved to Hallock. In 1972, he realized a long-held dream of starting his own repair shop, “Hagen Repair & Welding.” His favorite repair was Caterpillar equipment, and he came to be known as the “Kittson County Cat Man” gradually retiring from full-time work in the mid-1990s. For health reasons, he entered Kittson Memorial Healthcare Center in July 2014 and resided there until his death.
Harold was a Cub Scout leader in Fargo, and helped with 4-H when they moved to Hallock. He was a member and deacon of the First Presbyterian Church in Hallock, and also did repair work for his beloved church.
Harold loved cutting wood, doing so until he was 81 years old, providing the fuel to heat the family home for many years. Some of his hobbies were fishing, deer hunting, and woodworking. He gave his grandchildren many different gifts crafted from wood ranging from gumball machines, little step stools, cradles, rocking horses, baseball bat & glove holders, little novelty ships and so much more. In more recent years, he collected coins and assembled coin books containing all the state quarters for all of his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and many other favorite people. Together, Harold and Florence travelled to many parts of the U.S., such as Alaska, Hawaii, New York, Washington D.C., Florida, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and California. There were even some more adventurous trips abroad to the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. When he wasn’t travelling he could be found in his favorite chair at home watching a western.
Harold is survived by his wife of 66½ years, Florence, his son, Arlen (Nancy) of Gillette, WY; son, Terry (Carrie) of West Fargo, ND; daughter, Shiela Amundson (Tim) of Ramsey, MN; and son, Loren (Jennifer) of Montgomery, MN; 10 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, sister Delphine Olson of Warren, MN, two brothers-in-law, one sister-in-law and many nieces and nephews.
Harold was preceded in death by his parents, Nancy and Alfred Hagen; his grandmother, Amanda Anderson; his sister, Helen Kalamirr; infant son, James Harold; two sisters-in-law and two brothers-in-law.
Funeral services are scheduled for Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. in First Presbyterian Church, Hallock. Interment will be in Riverside Cemetery, Lake Bronson. Visitation will be held at Austin Funeral Chapel in Hallock on Monday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. with a prayer service at 7:00 p.m.