Harold Arthur Hagen, 69, was always ready for an adventure. Growing up a farm boy in Garrison, Iowa, in the 40s and 50s, his connection with the land and nature around him was deeply ingrained.
In the late 1960s, his parents purchased land at Holiday Lake. Harold built them a house (the first of many houses he would build) and moved into a new chapter in his life. He was no longer focused on farming the land and instead learned the joys of boating and water skiing while working hard at Amana. Holiday Lake also bought another joy into his life, a cute waitress named Ilene Janice Vols, a fellow fan of Elvis Presley.
The call of the wild was too strong for Harold to ignore so following his marriage to Ilene, he joined the Iowa DNR where he worked for the next 20+ years focusing on conservation efforts. He loved living on the land, fishing, hunting, backpacking and camping. Over his lifetime, he has shot over 100 turkeys (and he’s got the certificate from the state to prove it!) Soon after he began working for the DNR his daughter Brenda was born. Less than two years later, the family expanded to four with the addition of Kevin.
In 1975, this jack-of-all-trades started a project that would take more than a decade of his life to complete. Harold and Ilene had purchased an acreage near Knoxville. Little by little, the lake and house came together. Family weekends consisted of planting trees, building the house and spending as much time working with their hands turning this space into the beloved acreage it is today. They finally moved into their piece of heaven in 1990. Over the years, Harold and Ilene welcomed hundreds of people to their home and land. During the Knoxville Nationals, friends new and old would come to the acreage and camp on the site, reveling in the benevolent hospitality of their consummate hosts.
Though he enjoyed his piece of Iowa nature, Harold was an adventurer who loved traveling around the world. He visited five continents and more than 20 countries including a dream trip to South Africa on safari with his daughter. Harold and Ilene loved learning about new cultures and making new friends. Those guests have flocked to the United States to visit the amazing space known only as “the acreage” and left feeling like they were part of the Hagen family.
Two years ago Harold suffered a stroke. He was able to bounce back but continued to struggle with pain and discomfort. In February, Harold was sent to the Mayo Clinic and diagnosed with stage 4 mesothelioma. He was sent home to spend his final days in the home he built with his own hands.
Harold was preceded in death by his mother and father Elda and Art Hagen. He will be forever remember by his wife of 42 years Ilene Janice (Vols) Hagen, his daughter and her husband Brenda (Terry) McGuire of Des Moines, son Kevin Hagen of Ankeny, grandchildren Brianna and Alysa Hagen, and siblings and their spouses Vernon (Pearl) Hagen of Newhall, Dale (Karen) Hagen of Vinton, Jeanine (Marion) Schminke of Shellsburg and Lyle (Donna) Hagen of Lebanon, Mo.
For visitation and funeral arrangements, please see www.caringbridge.org/visit/haroldhagen