On March 11, 2014 David "Lags" Lageschulte lost his aggressive battle with cancer while undergoing treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. He was 62 years old.
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Lags had a unique vision and took great risks. He grew up on a farm near Waverly, Iowa and moved to Florida after college. The "can do" attitude he learned from his parents turned into a life of entrepreneurship. He showed up on a job interview at a heavy equipment company on his bicycle and eventually worked his way up to becoming a partner in the company. From there Lags was one of the first to see potential in the Hooters brand created by his high school friend, Ed Droste. He opened the 5th Hooters location in the world and developed the South Florida market which now boasts 17 Hooters restaurants.
Over the years, Lags co-founded several restaurant and entertainment concepts throughout the United States. He also developed and co-owned other businesses involved in an array of operations including health and fitness centers, medical clinics, geothermal, oil and gas well drilling, biodiesel, fuel products as well as real estate investment and development companies.
More important than anything Lags accomplished in business was his impact on the community and his humble and selfless donations and fundraising efforts around the world. He donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to organizations such as the Moffitt Cancer Center, the Dan Marino Foundation, Stop Hunger Now and the V-Foundations for Cancer Research. He never forgot where he came from and funded various charitable efforts in Iowa, including Self-Help International. Their training center in Ghana is named for his mother and her friend, Fran Mueller. He also provided the naming gift for the construction of the leadership-themed residence hall, Lags Hall at Morningside College where he earned his Bachelors Degree in business. In addition he donated funds to help build the libraries in Waverly and Dumont, Iowa, assisted in renovations of the Methodist Church in Waverly and committed $500,000 toward the Assisted Living Memory Care project at Bartels Lutheran Retirement Community in Waverly.
His success did not change who he was. He was known for being a regular guy, often dressing in shorts and a t-shirt for business meetings. He had a knack for making everyone feel special. "He would meet someone and ten minutes later they felt as if he was their best friend", says Paul Lynch, one of his business partners.
Lags' friend, Tom Cronin of Ft. Myers said the only thing certain is that now there'll be a Hooters in heaven. His partners hope he won't call a business meeting real soon.
Lags was born on August 29, 1951 and is survived by his three sisters, Donna Speake (Ken), Cordell Lageschulte, and Teri Edman, nephews Chris (Michelle) Speake, Michael (Natasha) Speake, Tim Speake, Shamus (Sara) O'connell, Cody Edman, Carlie (Jason Craig) and Tom Edman. He was preceded in death by his mother, Virginia Dorothy Koefoed Lageschulte and father, Raymond Arther Lageschulte.
He was devoted to his family and proud of his nieces and nephews. It was important to him to keep the entire family closely connected. He provided opportunities for the entire family to gather a few times a year in many different venues.
The family would like to express their love and appreciation to his friends who were by his side in his final weeks, Allyn, Paul, Terry, Ed and especially Linsey Toole.
A memorial service will be held in Waverly, Iowa on Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 2 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church in Waverly, Iowa. Burial will follow at Harlington Cemetery in Waverly and a reception at the Centennial Oaks Golf Club.
Celebration of life ceremonies will be held in Fort Myers, Florida and Aspen Colorado, his two places of residence.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Stop Hunger Now, Self Help International or Morningside College.
Kaiser-Corson Funeral Home in Waverly, Iowa is assisting the family. Online Condolences for "Lags" may be left at www.kaisercorson.com.
Kaiser-Corson Funeral Home
218 2nd St. SE Waverly, IA 50677
Published in Waverly Democrat from Mar. 18 to Mar. 25, 2014