Robert E. (Bob) Hagel passed away at home in Silver City, NM October 29 after many years of living with grace and dignity with Parkinson's disease. He was 74 years old. He is survived by his wife Sally Paull Hagel and her family, his sons Richard (Mac) and John and their mother Peggy Stitzenberg, his sister Helene Haas and her family, numerous cousins, and his caregiver of four years Lydia Diaz. He was preceded in death by his parents Elaine Oestreich Hagel and Dick Hagel. A native New Yorker, Bob graduated from the High School of Music and Art and the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. He impressed both his teachers and colleagues with his singular ability to draw. Bob always followed the simple philosophy of his mentor at SVA: "When the world zigs, you zag." He was a devoted family man, an amazing friend and an artists' artist. Bob had a long and illustrious career in advertising but was best known as the original illustrator and art director of the J. Peterman Catalog. His paintings and line drawings became legendary and helped make J. Peterman an icon in catalog marketing. He called what he did for the company "a labor of love." His original Peterman paintings can be seen at the Blue Dome Gallery in Silver City. Bob loved mentoring upcoming artists; he always looked for the positive in people and paid little attention to the negative. He will be remembered as a true gentleman, a man of enormous humor and an inspiration to all whose lives he touched. A celebration of his life will take place at a later date in New York City.
Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Nov. 4, 2013