Arvin E. Hagen, 80, of Fargo, ND, died peacefully on May 8, 2015 after an extended illness. He was surrounded by family while under hospice care at Rosewood on Broadway in Fargo.
The first of Adolph and Hazel (Drinkwine) Hagen’s four children, Arvin Elwood Hagen was born April 7, 1935 at his grandparents’ farmhouse in Dunn County, WI. After living in Boyceville, WI for 6 years, Arvin’s family moved to the west coast for a year before returning to Grenora, ND in 1942. Arvin graduated from Grenora HS in 1953 after excelling in academics, music and sports. He married his high school sweetheart, Beverly (Bev) Ann Berg, at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Grenora the following fall. They lived in Williston and Grenora, before deciding to move their family of four (with children Allan and Cindy) to Fargo and put Arvin through college at NDSU.
Arvin also excelled at college life, graduating suma cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in four years (1960-1964) while working part-time, serving as NDSU Sigma Nu fraternity’s first commander and Married Students Association board member, and being a dedicated family man and friend. He knew how to have fun and be responsible, in equal measures. Son, Brent, was born just before Arvin graduated from NDSU.
Arvin loved his career with John Deere, which began in Grenora Implement (Partsman and Maytag Repairman) and continued with Deere & Co. in Fargo, ND (Clerk Typist and Salesman); Grand Forks, ND (Assistant Territory Manager); Rice Lake, WI (Territory Manager); Minot, ND (Manager, Minot Implement), Bloomington, MN (Division Credit Manager and Parts Manager); and Moline, IL (Region Manager, Parts Services; Manager, Parts Marketing; and Region Manager, Parts Depot Services). One career highlight was building a large dike around Minot Implement to protect it from the flooding Mouse River in 1969; although it was often called “Hagen’s Folly” it became an isolated island that safeguarded the dealership throughout the flood.
Arvin retired from Deere & Co. in 1992 after 32.2 years, he and Bev planned to move to their lake home on Big Cormorant near Lake Park, MN. Instead, their fond memories of living in NDSU married student housing “tin huts” prompted them to buy a townhouse in Fargo, where they both worked part-time. They happily divided their time between the Fargo and lake homes. Arvin worked at Berg Fargo Motor and did contract work for Deere & Co. His favorite project was to help establish the John Deere Collectors’ Center in Moline, IL.
They enjoyed traveling and entertaining family and friends at both homes. Attending any and all family events, eating Bev’s good cooking (even lutefisk) and his mother-in-law’s famous lefse, completing daily newspaper crossword puzzles, playing progressive rummy and Quiddler with his adult children, golfing, boating, fishing with grandchildren, serving as the family’s primary photographer, and sleeping intermittently through football games were some of his favorite activities. Many enjoyed the sound of Arvin’s resonant bass voice, whether he was laughing, singing, sharing Ole & Lena and other Norwegian jokes, reading a passage in church, snoring with gusto, playing cards with siblings, or telling entertaining, often long-winded, stories.
Most importantly, Arvin actively lived the Sigma Nu creed of Love, Honor and Truth. He loved and was loved by many, with a friendly smile and larger than life handshake or hug. A principled, generous “people person” with a huge heart, Arvin was happiest when helping others, as a devoted family member or friend, active Lutheran church member, Two-Cylinder Club member, or leader in service organizations, such as the Elks and Lions Clubs. In 1998, Arvin was awarded the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award, Lions Clubs International’s highest form of recognition to acknowledge an individual’s dedication to humanitarian service. Arvin was a genuinely good, kind and well-liked man who will be missed by all who knew him.
Arvin joined loving parents Adolph and Hazel (Drinkwine) Hagen; sister-in-law Charlene (Lumpkins) Hagen; and other family and friends in Heaven.
Grateful for having shared his life are his beloved wife of 61 years, Beverly Hagen, and their children, Allan (Marla) Hagen of Grand Forks ND, Cindy (Darrel) Lukas of St Paul MN, and Brent (Michele) Hagen of Woodbury MN; brothers Alden Hagen of Williston ND and Charles Hagen of Northfield MN; sister Karen (Dennis) Christianson of Minot ND; six grandchildren – Audra, Erik, Samuel, Emily, Amanda and Cassandra; two great-grandchildren – Astrid and Alexander (Xander); lots of nieces, nephews and cousins; and many, many other friends and extended family!
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association or other favorite charity.