Charles “Chuck” Stephen Hagen, Sr., 86, died at home March 21, 2022, with his family by his side. He was born March 30, 1935 in Minneapolis, Minnesota to John and Gertrude Hagen. Early in his life, Chuck was a survivor. At the tender age of eighteen months, her crib was set on fire by a nearby stove which overheated. He suffered severe burns to his scalp, arms and legs and spent weeks recovering in hospital. Despite severe burns, the local newspaper photographed him smiling and reported that “his smile was not burned”.
At the age of seventeen, Chuck enlisted in the army and served in the Korean War. Always on the move, he never let the dust settle under his feet. One of his favorite idioms was “shoulda, woulda, coulda”. It was his way of motivating others to “seize the opportunities and avoid the regrets”. As an industrious and hardworking man, he had several entrepreneurial adventures. Chuck was a farmer in rural Bloomer in his early years. He also owned a printing press and was a reporter and editor for the Cornell & Lake Holcombe Courier, Colfax, Bloomer and Cadott newspapers. He later also owned and operated the Midway Motel in Hallie and the Chippewa Hotel in Chippewa Falls.
On August 15, 1992, he married the love of his life, Helen Zwiefelhofer. They moved to Arizona where they owned and operated the Desert Rose Laundromat in Camp Verde. He also served as night security guard at Harrah’s Casino in Laughlin, Nevada. After five years in the southwest, they returned to Chippewa Falls.
Chuck was very proud of his collection of miniature classic cars. He affectionately called it his “priceless collectibles”. His favorite small car was the “1932 Ford Coupe” with a swell seat because it reminded him of the first car he owned and drove. Other hobbies Chuck enjoyed included snowmobiling and camping with his sons, Charlie and Scott, at the cabin on Lake Holcombe. He also sang tenor and played in a barbershop quartet with the Eau Claire Diplomats of Harmony. Additionally, he enjoyed playing cards with his family and cribbage with friends at the Chippewa Falls Senior Center.
He is survived by his wife: Helen; sons: Charles “Charlie” (Sherri Stoneburner) Hagen, Jr., Scott Hagen; daughters-in-law: Susan (Kenny) Hartzell, Dawn Wilson, Donna (Larry) Larson, Lisa (Steve) Blank, Barbara (Paul) Beaudette-Nowak; stepsons: Kevin (Kim) Zwiefelhofer, Wayne Zwiefelhofer; many grandchildren; great-grandchildren; and his pet: the Schnoodle dog named Sadiemae.
He is predeceased by his parents: John and Gertrude Hagen; brothers: Melvin Hagen, Dwayne Hagen, John “Jack” Hagen; sister: Sharon Wesky; and one ex-wife: Lorraine Hansen.
An 11 a.m. Memorial Mass will be held at Holy Ghost Catholic Church, 412 South Main Street, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin on Friday, April 29, 2022.
Chippewa Valley Cremation Services – Celebration of Life Center in Altoona serves the family. To express your condolences online, please visit www.chippewavalleycremation.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Chuck, please visit our floral boutique.
Posted by Chippewa Valley Cremation Services & Celebration of Life Center on March 28, 2022.