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Rosemary Jane Hagen

Rosemary Jane Hagen, age 68, of Darwin (Lake Washington), lived a life of giving, caring, and compassion, and she left us Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 2008, at North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale, surrounded by her family, after suffering a sudden and massive stroke Dec. 23.

Rosemary (Kurtz) was born June 16, 1940, in Breckenridge, MN. She attended grade school in Barney, ND, and graduated from Wyndmere High School with her husband, Arthur Hagen, in 1958. In high school, Art and Rosemary were voted the best couple, best dancers, and best dressed.

Rosemary’s love of music started early as she sang in church and school choirs, and a high school trio that went to a North Dakota state competition. She also played the piano, played the saxophone in the high school band, and was active in 4-H, continuing on to Club Congress.

Rosemary and Art moved to Cokato in 1961, and spent more than 40 years in the community before moving to her dream home on Lake Washington in Darwin.

Throughout her life in Cokato, Rosemary particpated in her children’s school activities. She served as a Cub Scout den mother, and played an active role in the church as the Cherub Choir director for more than 20 years, and as a member of the Senior Choir for the majority of her life. For many years, she shared her gift of song at family functions, and she often sang with her father, Henry, at occasions. She was so proud of being able to return to singing in the church choir after having survived a stroke five years ago.

Just a few years ago, Rosemary began to take singing lessons, also a life-long desire to always improve in her musical talents. Her love of music extended to the collection of bells, of which she had nearly 100.

Rosemary’s work careers spanned retail, serving as a nurse’s aide, and as a bookkeeper. Most notably was her work as a business owner with her husband, Art. Their entreprenurial spirit spanned the opening of Dairy Queens, which Rosemary operated, and the construction business, where she ran the “books.”

During much of Rosemary’s life, she was a “baseball wife” as her husband played amateur ball for nearly 40 years. She ran the concession stands, collected tickets, painted helmets, and more. Her love of baseball extended to the Minnesota Twins, and she watched the games religiously and kept track of the scores.

She also loved to cook, sew, garden, and most recently, at her lake home, became an avid bird lover.

Rosemary touched so many lives with her gifts of love and kindness, and many have received her annual gifts of Christmas bread, lefse, and flatbread. She donated to several charities, too many to mention.

She gave the ultimate gift on Christmas Day as an organ donor. Others will now live, due to Rosemary’s amazing gift of life. We will all miss her, yet we have lived a fuller life because of her.

Rosemary leaves behind a multitude of family and friends who loved and adored her. She was preceded in death by her parents, Henry and Irene Kurtz of Barney, ND, and her granddaughter, Ashley Rose.

She is survived by her loving husband, Arthur K. Hagen, and in July had celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

Rosemary is further survived by her children, Michael (Anna) Hagen of Hutchinson, Craig (Marcella) Hagen of Darwin, and Dawn (Edward) Williams of Minneapolis; grandchildren Timm (Tara) Hagen, Nicholas (Krista) Hagen), and Phil O’Connor; and four great-grandchildren: Akadia, Austin, Alana, and Anna Elizabeth. Rosemary was excited for another great-grandchild on the way. She also leaves behind Sophie, her faithful dog and daily companion.

She is also survived by her brother, Clinton (Patricia) Kurtz of Norwood-Young America; and her sisters, Beverly (Russell) Slotten of Pelican Rapids, and Joycelyn (George) Schauffhausen of North Oaks.

The funeral service took place Tuesday, Dec. 30 at 11 a.m. at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cokato, with the Revs. Steven Thorson and Dan Ankerfelt officiating. Music was provided by Karen Anderson and Toni Thorson. Interment will be at Freeman Cemetery, McLeod, ND, at a later date.

Visitation was Monday, Dec. 29 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato, with a prayer service at 7 p.m., and continued Tuesday for one hour prior to the service at the church.

Casket bearers were Timm Hagen, Nicholas Hagen, Phil O’Connor, Jon Manske, Andrew Rosenquist, Kyle Mellem, and Tom Kurtz.

The Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato handled the arrangements.