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Howard Hagemann - May 25, 2011

Howard Lee Hagemann, age 89, was born on their family farm five miles north and one mile west of Holyoke on Sept. 11, 1921, the youngest of four children born to Ernest A. and Ida Mae (Ellis) Hagemann. Howard died May 25, 2011 at Haxtun Hospital.

Howard received his education at Liberty School, which was one mile south of the farm. He completed eight years of schooling in seven years.

After school, he farmed with his brother on the family place until 1941 when he was called to take an Army examination. He was told he couldn’t join because of medical reasons. Howard remembered having rheumatic fever at 9 years of age. He returned to farming until taking a job with Rither Construction building power lines in Nebraska, Kansas and the mountains of Colorado.

After four years away from home, he took a temporary job with Highline Electric in May of 1949. Known only by the name of “H,” Howard retired from Highline Electric in 1977, after almost 30 years of employment.

Howard enjoyed traveling and had visited every state except Maine and Vermont. Howard and his sister Ethel traveled to Lincoln City, Ore., as this was one of their favorite vacation spots along the Pacific Ocean, and Hawaii.

Howard loved to do woodworking and was an avid reader, having his own library, which he shared with his nephew Dennis.

Howard lived in Holyoke until October 2008 when health issues caused him to move into the Haxtun Elderly Care Unit. He was very involved in all the activities and loved reading to the little children who came to visit. He was known as the Gentle Giant. His smile and humor became a very important part of the ECU where he was loved as much as he loved them.

Howard is preceded in death by his parents; half-brothers, Carl and Clarence Hagemann; brother, Harold Hagemann and wife Vera; sister, Ethel Hagemann; brother-in-law, Leonard Gentry; and nephew and fellow Highline employee, Gary Hagemann.

He is survived by his sister, Edith Gentry of Lakewood; nephews and nieces, Dennis Hagemann and wife Lynda of Holyoke, Deanna Hagemann of Holyoke, Janice Gentry and Noel Gentry of Lakewood, Clara O’Connor of Holyoke and Dora Ott of Denver; several great-nieces and great-nephews and great-great-nieces and great-great-nephews; and numerous friends.

The funeral service was held May 27 at Gerk Funeral Home in Holyoke with Pastor Kerry Johnson officiating. Interment followed at the Holyoke Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Friends of the Heginbotham Library.

Gerk Funeral Home was entrusted with the arrangements.