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Russell Hagen

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April 15, 1925-June 6, 2008

Russell G. Hagen, 83, of Detroit Lakes, died Friday, June 6, 2008 at Emmanuel Nursing Home, Detroit Lakes, under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley.

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Russell Gordon Hagen was born to Ole and Inga (Walden) Hagen on April 15, 1925 in Detroit Lakes, where he grew up and received his education. After graduating from Detroit Lakes High School in 1943, he entered the Army and following basic training, he played the clarinet with the Army Band at Fort Jackson, S.C. After his military service, he returned to Detroit Lakes and attended business college.

During the 1950s, Russell worked for Lakeland Fruit and Produce, Northern Farm Supply (John Deere and Minneapolis Moline), and Lakes Garage (Studebaker). He later worked for the Minnesota State Highway Department and as a stores clerk at the St. Cloud State Reformatory. He also played clarinet part-time at local clubs.

On June 29, 1958, Russell married Ella Gerner at Salem Lutheran Church in Hitterdal. They made their home in Detroit Lakes. In 1957, he began a 28-year career as a driver evaluator with the Department of Public Safety, giving countless written tests and upwards of 70,000 road tests to area residents. He retired in 1985. He was a lifelong member of First Lutheran Church and a charter member of Sons of Norway Lodge 495.

He loved his family, his dogs, automobiles, travel, and was an avid musician -- playing piano, accordion, clarinet, saxophone, and harmonica, all by ear. He was a kind-hearted and unpretentious man who will be deeply missed.

Surviving Russell are his wife, Ella; two sons, Alan Hagen of Detroit Lakes and Mark (Terry) Hagen of West Fargo; two granddaughters; one brother, Harold Hagen of Callaway; one sister, Opal Wieck of Escondido, Calif.; as well as one niece and two nephews. His parents preceded him in death.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred sent to charitable or health research foundations.

Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, June 11, with a 7 p.m. prayer service, at the West-Kjos Funeral Home in Detroit Lakes.

Funeral services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday, June 12, at First Lutheran Church, Detroit Lakes, with the Rev. Wade Dutton officiating.

Casket bearers will be Chris Lindberg, Don Sayer, Joe Gerner, Kevin Wieck, Brian Wieck and Rick Nemec. Burial will be in Oak Grove Cemetery, Detroit Lakes.

Arrangements have been entrusted to West-Kjos Funeral Home. Those wanting to share memories and condolences are invited to use the online messages of sympathy section at www.westkjos.com.

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