Richard H. Hagen, of Bellevue, Neb., passed away on January 28, 2013.
He was born on November 1, 1932, in Ames, Iowa, to George and Mary Hagen.
Dick was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Jerry Hagen; and grandson, Jason Hagen.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Ruth Hagen; and his children, Pat (Ken) Martin, Dave Hagen, John (Pamela) Hagen, Liz (Jeff) Thompson, Chas (Janis) Hagen, Mark (Alicia) Hagen, Kathryn (Nina) Hagen, Margaret (Blaine) Carbis; 17 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren; sisters, Sharon (Jim) Mott and Carolyn Mehus; many nieces and nephews, in-laws and out-laws; and many friends who may not have been related by blood, but were a part of the family.
Family, first and foremost, was one of his many legacies. Dick Hagen grew up in Ames, Iowa, and joined the U. S. Marine Corps right after he left high school and served in the Mediterranean aboard ship as a radio operator during the Korean Conflict. During this time, he had many enlightening experiences, not the least of which was meeting and being blessed by Pope Pius XII. Upon leaving the Marine Corps, Dick went to telegrapher school for the Milwaukee Railroad and became a telegraph operator. As automation was eliminating jobs, he enrolled in college in Illinois and received a degree in Theology. He went on to serve the deaf community in many roles; i.e. interpreter, friend, counselor. He became a sought-after mentor throughout the country for his expertise and experience. He eventually took a job in the State of Iowa Division of Vocational Rehabilitation as a counselor. This job led him to be given the privilege of being a part of the creation of the Interpreter Training Program at Iowa Western Community College, where he taught until he retired as Professor Emeritus due to health issues in 1992. This program is still in existence today. He was very proud of his students!
Dick and Ruth retired to the Ozarks for several years and returned to live in Council Bluffs at Harmony Court where they made many friends; then moved to the Bellevue Harmony Court. Dick was instrumental in establishing services for the deaf in compliance with the new laws of National Rehabilitation Act and Americans with Disabilities working closely with state and federal officials, including Congressmen. He served the Crossroads Rehabilitation Center for the Deaf. He held certification through the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf and served the organization in many ways, including National Publication Committee of Registry of Interpreters and National Evaluation Study Committee for the National Registry of Interpreters. He also worked with the Omaha Community Playhouse to bring the stage alive to the deaf community, the first of which was A Christmas Carole, opening the doors to other plays. Dick continued in his role of serving people after retirement by being Resident Manager at Harmony Court and serving as President of the Resident Association for several years.
Visitation with the family, Friday, 6 to 8 p.m., at the Cutler-O'Neill-Meyer-Woodring Bayliss Park Chapel. Funeral service, Saturday, 1 p.m., at the funeral home with military honors tendered by VFW Post #737. Memorials are suggested to: IWCC Foundation or Food Bank of the Midlands.
This obituary was originally published in The Daily Nonpareil.