Hagen, Clarence Luther
Clarence Luther Hagen (April 21, 1918 - October 9, 2013), 95, passed away peacefully in the presence of family members. Throughout his life, he willingly gave of his musical talents, athletic prowess, sense of humor, leadership skills, and heartfelt guidance for all those close to him as well as strangers.
Clarence was born in Kidder, SD, to George Hagen and Josephine Lensegrav, the middle child of a family of seven. He spent his school-age years in Webster, SD, where he excelled in vocal music groups and sports. His nickname "Hack" (after a famous baseball hitter) stuck with him the rest of his life. He attended Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD, on a football and basketball scholarship and majored in math and physics. He was later inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame. While in college, he met his wife Joyce Steinbach. They were married in 1941 and celebrated 71 fulfilling and exciting years of marriage together. Following graduation, he taught math and coached athletics at Ruthton, MN and Wessington Springs, SD. During WWII
he served in the Navy in the Pacific as a gunnery officer aboard the U.S.S. Salt Lake City. When the war ended, he returned to Yankton, SD where his wife and two year old son, Christopher, awaited him. He taught and coached at Yankton High School for two years before enrolling in the Illinois School of Optometry. After receiving his Doctor of Optometry degree in 1950, he and Joyce along with their two children Chris and Louise moved to Le Mars, IA where he set up his optometric practice. He thoroughly enjoyed his new profession and worked for 32 years before retiring in 1982. During his years in Le Mars, his family grew to four children with the births of Jean and Jon, and he became an active member of the community, presiding over the LeMars community school board for 16 years and participating in Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce. His Christian faith was always a guiding force in his life, leading him to serve on two national boards of the American Lutheran Church: Men of the Church (1960-1965) and Service and Mission in America (1968-1976) as well as being a loyal contributor to St. John's Lutheran Church in Le Mars, frequently singing in the choir for 20 years and as a soloist for funerals and weddings. In 1998, Hack and Joyce moved to Appleton, WI, to spend their elder years near Jon and Joy and their youngest grandchildren. They lived at the Heritage, Touchmark, Ridgeview Highlands and were members of First English Lutheran Chuch.
Clarence was a very thankful, kind, loving man who found a way to touch everyone he met in a meaningful way. And in his words, he "enjoyed every minute of it."
He is survived by his brother Warren (Sarah) Hagen, his children Christopher (Carol) Hagen, Louise (Janet Alexander), Jean Hagen Jonas and Jonathan (Joy) Hagen, his grandchildren Philip Hagen, Jennifer Eickelmann, John Hagen, Lisa Ahern, Jennifer Fink, Rebecca Nore, Liam Murphy, Conor Murphy, Adam Jonas, Laura Jonas, Joseph Jonas, Kate Hagen, Ted Hagen, Eric Hagen, Daniel Hagen and great-grandchildren Jordan, Bailey, Garrett, Emma, Ashley, Austin, Aaron, Alexis, Christopher, Janaan, Madison, Jackson, Olivia, and Alena.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 12, at 10:30 am at First English Lutheran Church with Rev. Jeff Tengesdal officiating. Friends may visit the family at church from 9:30 am until the time of service. Instead of giving flowers or memorials, Clarence requested that we give love to one other.