Services for Otto Hagen

Otto Hagen, 101, of Grygla, MN passed away on Tuesday, December 25, 2018 at Villa St Vincent Nursing Home, Crookston, MN.  Otto,  the son of Norwegian immigrants Arne and Kornelia (Ostrum) Hagen, was born at family home in Northwood Township, rural Grygla, MN.  He was baptized and confirmed in the Christian faith at Northwood Lutheran Church.  He attended Hanson Grade School through 8th grade and later received an Honorary High School diploma.
As a young boy, Otto worked beside his father on their family farm helping to clear farmland, cutting tamarack with his own axe by age 7.  By age 12 he was also working for neighboring farmers.  As a teen, he worked for dairy, potato and sugar beet farmers in Mayville and Neilsville areas. From 1938-1939, Otto worked with Civilian Conservation Corps near Cass Lake.
In October of 1941, Otto entered the United States Army serving his country during WWII in the British West Indies, France and Germany.  After an Honorable Discharge in 1945, he returned home to the family farm.
On November 3, 1947, Otto was united in marriage to Hennie Saxvold.  Happily married for 67years, together they raised 9 children.  Shortly after their marriage they moved to Seattle, WA where they lived for a short time, returning home to Grygla area to establish their own farmstead.  Otto worked several different jobs to support his family and to expand their farm.  In 1957, he began working for Great Northern Railroad on the “Steel Gang”, later transferred to a “Bridge Crew” and retired from Burlington Northern Railroad in 1982.
Otto was a kind, hardworking man who loved his family, his faith and his farm.  He was blessed with a long life and healthy mind.  He loved visiting with family and friends, occasionally traveling to visit railroad friends, army buddies and family in Norway.  He will always be remembered and appreciated for his ability to share stories in great detail and for his wonderful sense of humor and quick wit.
Otto’s favorite pastimes included gardening, blueberry picking, deer hunting with family, hitting golf balls on the driving range, playing catch with his children and grandchildren, watching MN Twins, Vikings, and Winnipeg Jets.  Keeping up with current events was important to him. He read the Grand Forks Herald, Grygla Eagle and in the evenings would read his Bible.
In July of 2018, Otto moved to the Villa in Crookston.  There he continued to touch many lives and build new friendships with staff and residents.  He appreciated the great care and kindness he received there.
Survivors include his nine children:  Connie (Hector) Hagen of Grygla, Owen (Diane) Hagen of Grygla, Julie (Paul) Saurdiff of Grand Forks, ND, Jeffrey (Pamela) Hagen of Grafton, ND, Darwin Hagen of Grygla, Baryth (Davin) Halvorson of Newfolden, Arlo (Tina) Hagen of Naples, FL, Rocky (Ardeene) Hagen of Grygla and Anissa (Chris) Lauer of Viking; 21 grandchildren: Jeremy, Jason, Cindy, Katie, Laura, Brandi, Mike, Sarina, Lisa, Samara, John, Mandi, Erika, Bjorn, Melissa, Dakota, Broden, Kylen, Tyrin, Logan and Kari; 31 great grandchildren: Payton, Brayden, Landen, Courtney,  Carter, Cooper, Dillon, Koby, Saylor, Burton, McCoy, Tayla, Kyla, Sierra, Coral, Otto, Bauer, Claire, Emma, Kora, Greta, Arthur, Signe, Leuis, Otto, Ole, Miakota, Jackson, Harlie, Grayden and Jemma; and brother: Norris Hagen; and many other relatives and friends.
Otto is preceded in death by his wife: Hennie in 2014; parents; grandson: Tomas Lauer; brothers: Oscar and Melvin Hagen; sisters: Inga Ulla, Clara Boe, Alma Svenpladsen, Miranda Skaaren, Benora Falk and Lila Holthusen.
Celebration of Otto’s life will be held 2:00 PM on Saturday, January 19, 2019, at Grace Lutheran Church, Grygla with Pastor Vickie Saude-Worthington officiating.  Military honors will follow.  Burial will be in the spring at Northwood Cemetery, Grygla. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to service.  
Otto’s family would like to say a special thank you to the VA, Altru Hospice and staff at the Villa St. Vincent in Crookston.
Condolences may be sent at

Richards Publishing

P.O. Box 159
239 2nd Ave
Gonvick, MN 56644
Telephone: (218) 487-5225

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