Hagan W. Richards lived 91 years, 6 months and 139 days. He passed away May 19, 2017, in Upland, California.
Hagan was born Nov. 26, 1925, at Cabot Station, Harrison County, and later moved to Phillips Run outside of Grantsville, where he grew up with his four sisters, loving mother and dad.
As most Depression-era, rural families, they raised almost everything they ate and made the clothes on their backs. Hard work, frugality and honesty were the orders of the day, and he practiced them the rest of his life. He was a proud graduate of Calhoun County High School, but as soon as he graduated he knew the world was waiting for him to enter a bigger stage.
Uncle Sam provided Hagan with an all-expense-paid vacation around the world in 1943 immediately after graduation. Hagan was a gunner on a merchant ship in the U.S. Navy and saw action in both the Pacific and European theatres. He served with distinction and was honorably discharged but remained a proud Navy man the rest of his life.
Following a string of roustabout jobs, a little blowing off some wartime steam and searching for his future, Dad married Mary Jo Forte from Monongah. Daniel, Mark and Elizabeth soon entered their world and roots were laid down in Clarksburg. His family was always his priority, and he worked multiple jobs to give them the life he didn't have growing up. Hagan developed many lifelong friends both at work and in his private life and treated all of them with respect and a giving attitude that were hallmarks of his character.
Dad started working for Hope Natural Gas Co. as a laborer, and 42 years later retired as the superintendent of the Fairmont Plant. He was extremely proud of the gas company and his service there and was the ultimate company man. He knew Hope provided the opportunity for his family to grow and prosper, and he was always mindful of that privilege.
The last 25 years of Hagan's life were shared with his dear friend Carolyn Haught. Together they traveled, dined and simply enjoyed each other's company.
Dad developed early stage dementia at 85 and fought the good fight for the past six years. He remained the loving, giving, kind and honest man to his last breath.
The world has lost a true hero. A real man who valued family, friends, America, hard work and the many blessings he had in his life. He was loved by many who were blessed to be his friend, part of his family or to have him as our Dad.
We should all die so privileged.
He is survived by his sister, Patti (Donald) Kendall of New Martinsville; children, Dan (Judy) of Upland, California, Mark (Cathey) of Nashville, Tennessee, and Elizabeth in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Hagan had four grandchildren, Kendra, Drew (deceased), Brian and Grant; and three great-grandchildren, Calvin and Winston Miller and Madison Richards.
There will be a spreading of ashes and celebration of his life at noon on Oct. 15 at Nobe Cemetery in Grantsville.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations be made to the Nobe Cemetery Maintenance Fund, 359 Nobe Road, Big Bend, WV 26136.
Published on May 28, 2017