Journal Express, Knoxville, IA


March 8, 2013

Harold Hagen

Harold Hagen

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.

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Upon completion and reopening of Third Street, should the City of Knoxville wait to start the next stage of the Streetscape and Infrastructure project until 2015?

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