Call (608) 788-2188


John Neal Hagen

January 6, 2023 | 9 comments

John N. Hagen, 84, of Onalaska, passed away Sunday, January 1, 2023, in the comfort of his own home surrounded by family. John was born June 5, 1938 in Hendrum, Minnesota, the son of Henry Hagen and Nora (Sorenson) Hagen. He is survived by his wife La Rae Hagen, his two daughters Fanci (Russ) Reynen and Titia Julian, his brother Alan (Nancy) Hagen, his sister Dr. Sharon Hagen, and his 9 grandchildren.

Mr. Hagen taught Physical Science and Physics at Onalaska High School from 1968-1998 and coached wrestling for a few years. He was notorious for keeping his lab and classroom lively and engaging. Hagen was the regional expert for building custom airboats. Hagen was an inspiration for all to get a higher education. The first person in his family to graduate college, he became an inspiration for all to achieve higher education. He received his Bachelors of Science at Moorhead State, while playing college football.

Hagen was an avid outdoorsman who loved hunting, fishing, camping, biking, feeding the birds, and airboating. When not enjoying the outdoors, you could find him tinkering in his shop or building something in his pole barn. In the summer he also maintained an in-ground pool in his backyard for 50 years. Hagen loved sharing his wealth of knowledge and ability to fix anything with friends and family, especially his grandkids.

In his final years, he received exceptional care from Quality Comfort Care LLC, who loved him like family. Special thanks to St. Croix Hospice and his primary caretakers, Marcia Iverson and Ashlee Berberich.

We will hold a celebration of life in the spring, date and time TBD



  1. Ally Hatch

    Thankful to call Hagen my grandpa. He took so much pride in all his grandchildren. He made sure we all had our first bikes to ride and our first cars to drive along with a wonderful home and pool to enjoy in the summer. He helped me ace chemistry years after he retired from teaching. He helped me financially through college and in the early years of my adult career. I will cherish all the memories forever. In his honor, I will make time to enjoy the outdoors and live an active life.
    Rest in peace Grandpa

  2. George Tabbert

    John Hagen was a wonderful science teacher at Onalaska High School. He always gave his students the benefit of the doubt. He was a very engaging person with a quick wit about him. I will forever remember the fieldtrip his Earth Science class took. We hiked up a bluff, explored a cave and ate our lunches in the woods. When I graduated from high school the following year, Mr. Hagen stopped by the graduation line and shook my hand.

  3. Dennis Furlong

    It was never a dull moment when you were around John. He was a one man
    dynamo. Another Onalaska community pillar on his way to Heaven. Rest in peace, John. Dennis

  4. Gary Hanson

    Grew up next door. Lots of great memories camping, fishing, airboats, swimming and Fourth of July parties. I especially remember just hanging out in the garage with John and my dad just tinkering around on projects. Rest in peace John.

  5. Loren Rochester

    I had John for General Science, Chemistry and as my wrestling coach for 3 years. I really enjoyed all of the time I spent with him. He was a great teacher and coach. After high school I rode dirt bike with him several times. He definitely liked going fast!! Condolences to the family! I’m sure he will be missed.

  6. Katrinka F Rosenquist

    Dear Hagen family. I’m so sorry for your loss. May you find comfort in knowing Mr Hagen was a great teacher and was looked up to as a man of science. Fanci, my heart goes out to you and May you know Your mourning will be seen by God and you will be comforted.

  7. Susan (Sagen) DiClemente

    So very sorry for your loss! He was a good teacher and I enjoyed interviewing him for the school newspaper about his airboat when I was in high school.

  8. Dean Coates

    So Sorry Fanci! He was a good man and teacher! So sorry for your loss! Condolences for your family!

  9. Rebecca L Hawkins, MD

    Dear La Rae and family,
    Mr Hagen was my favorite teacher. I loved chemistry and physics, and he taught it in such a way that it was fun and understandable. I swear it was that foundation that got me into medical school. You might remember that you bought Fuller Brush from me. I was trying to earn money to pay for college.
    My condolences to you and the family.

Let's Celebrate Life Together

Call or send a message using the buttons below...
Call (608) 788-2188Send a Message