Barbara Ann Heddens Hagg, who spent more than three active decades in politics at the local, state and federal levels, passed away on Tuesday (Sept. 3, 2013) in Mechanicsburg.
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She was 82.
A true trailblazer in her time, Hagg's political leadership began more than 36 years ago and has influenced every level of government. On a national level, in 1984, she served as a delegate at large for the Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas. She served as campaign chairwoman for McKean County, and coordinator of the McKean County Republican Campaign Headquarters in 1980 for President Ronald Reagan, and again in 1988 for President George H.W. Bush. At the state level, she served as secretary for the Northwest Caucus of Republican State Committee from 1983 to 1986. As a member of the Pennsylvania Council of Republican Women she served in numerous capacities from 1982 until 2000. She also influenced the county level with additional positions from 1970 to 2005.
From 1990 to 1991, she served as legislative assistant for Pennsylvania Sen. John E. Peterson.
"She was a dear friend," said Harrijane Hannon Moore, McKean County Register of Wills and former county commissioner. "We did a lot of political things together as well as social things together.
"She was certainly loyal to her political commitments," Moore added. "There were many good years we spent together. I know the last few years, she's had more than her share of health challenges and now she's at peace and at rest."
State Rep. Marty Causer, R-Turtlepoint, who currently serves as chairman of the McKean County Republican Party, echoed Moore's sentiments.
"She was a great lady and a longtime member of the Republican Party," he said.
She had also served as the chair of the party during the 1970s, he added, lauding her passion for the political process - which was strong even at a time when few women achieved prominent positions in politics.
"She was a dedicated member of the party, very patriotic, very civic minded," Causer said. "I think some people run from the political process, but she was always trying to get others involved.
"She will certainly be missed."
Born April 17, 1931, in Bradford, she was the daughter of Lawrence Amandus and Anna Elvera Hornquist Heddens.
On June 20, 1953, she married Duane Gordon Hagg, who died July 30, 1972. After college in 1953, Barbara returned to Bradford, where she was a lifelong resident. Barbara was grounded in her family, church and serving her community.
Barbara was a 1949 graduate of Bradford High School, and received her bachelor of arts degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She was also a member of the Sigma Kappa Sorority. Mrs. Hagg began her professional career as an elementary school teacher until 1959. She loved teaching and all through her life remembered those days with pride. She shared stories of students remembering her many years later.
From 1965 to 1977, she owned and operated the C.J. Johnson Wood Manufacturing Co., a company started in 1910 by her grandfather. She proudly displayed the many replica sleds that were made and were recently included in a book publication. Her career then continued with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue where she worked as the district administrator for the Bradford office from 1983 to 1989. In 1990, she served as coordinator for the Blue Cross Caring Program for Children, where she served until 1996.
She loved Bradford, her Swedish heritage, and served her community by dedicating her time and experience to both her church and multiple civic groups.
She was a member of the Emanuel Lutheran Church and served in many roles from Sunday School teacher to treasurer. In each stage of her life, she found a ways to be involved with the church. In 2000, she became a 50-year member of the Bradford Chapter #61 Order of the Eastern Star which was just one of many civic organizations that she took so much pride in. Throughout her whole life she was involved in over 15 different organizations. In recognition of her dedication of time and talents, Barbara was the recipient of many awards such as the 1992 Recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International. She left a footprint wherever she went.
Barbara is survived by one daughter, Kimberly Ann Hagg of Gaithersburg, Md.; a son, Randy (Liz) Hagg of Lancaster; three grandchildren, Amanda Hagg, Cameron Hagg and Emma Hagg. She also had many nieces and nephews who surrounded her throughout the years. Barbara also had strong friendships that carried her over her lifetime.
Family will be receiving friends from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Friday in the Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes Inc., 33 South Ave., and again from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the Emmanuel Lutheran Church, where funeral services with Liturgy of the Eucharist will be held at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Thomas Pierotti, interim pastor, officiating.
Memorial contributions, if desired, may be made to the Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 152 Seaward Ave., Bradford, PA 16701; or a
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes Inc.
Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes Inc.
33 South Avenue Bradford, PA 16701
Published in The Bradford Era from Sept. 5 to Sept. 12, 2013