Norman Harold Hagen was born on February 20, 1931, the fifth child of Lars and Anna Hagen.
He grew up in the beautiful Kispiox Valley on a farm on Swan Lake Rd. with his 3 older brothers Arthur, Henry, and George, and his sister, Louise. The neighbors claim they were a bit of a boisterous lot and could be heard miles away when there was an altercation.
All the boys worked in the family cedar pole business at one time or another. The poles where harvested with real horse so Norman, along with the rest of his family, learned to skid poles with horses. Later on he had his own cedar pole business with partners Dal & Drew Wookey.
When he was 17, he went big game guiding with Jack and Frances Lee – also residents of Kispiox Valley. We (his children) loved to hear about those adventures. He had a deep respect for the Lees and always spoke of them with affection.
While helping with the concrete pouring of Marty & Dorothy Allen’s basement, he nearly fell off the ramp way with a wheelbarrow load of cement when he spotted the beautiful Betty Bigham for the first time. He and Betty married on September 15, 1953.
To this union were born Lars, Ruth (Carle), Jack, Calvin, & Betty Lou (Thomsen). Foster daughter, Kristine (Lang), came along some years later.
He worked as the manager of the Little, Haughland, and Kerr Pole Company, South Hazelton yard, for nine years until 1968 when he started his own logging company with one employee, Wilfred Gawa, of Kispiox. Wilf is remembered for the quote, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. And it was often tough as all Hazelton loggers know. All that rotten hemlock in the valley…….. He said he spent the day in bed with the covers over his head after he signed on the dotted line for his first bank loan. Many bank loans and employees later, he retired from logging in 1994.
He spent the next few years as a supervisor for Repap and also did landscaping and other jobs with his favorite machine – his 1965 cat.
He was a deeply spiritual man – On doubt due , At least in part, to the influence of his mother. He was baptized into the Adventist church in 1956 and was very involved in the church and church school for the rest of his life. He held many positions in the church, including elder, school board chairperson, and Sabbath school teacher for both adults and young people. He was known both within the church and without for his sense of fair play and integrity.
He was a loving father. A favorite memory for his children is that when he came home late from work, Mom would have saved a piece of dessert for his supper. We had already all had some dessert earlier but he would cut up his piece and share it with us anyway.
This brief sketch of his life would not be complete without a mention of his wit, wonderful sense of humor and fun-loving nature. He loved an evening of story telling and was a great raconteur. He was a good mimic and when telling a story about Ted Campbell for example, could sound more like Ted then Ted himself. We’re going to miss those stories.
A 6:30 am on September 10, 2012, Norman Hagen passed away and is now awaiting the resurrection when we will be united with him again.
He was predeceased by his brother, George, his sister Louise Davidson and his eldest son Lars.
He leaves to mourn his brothers Henry and Arthur, his wife of 59 years, Betty, his children, Ruth, Rick, Jack, Giselle, Calvin, Linda Y, Betty Lou, Dennis, Linda J., and Kristine. He also leaves to mourn his 12 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren, niece, nephews and many other relatives and friends.