Posted 10/07/14 (Tue)
Gen Hagan, 94, long time Williston resident and businesswoman, passed away at the Bethel Lutheran Nursing Home in Williston on Thursday afternoon, Oct. 2, 2014.
Her Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated by Father Russell Kovash, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014 at Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church in Williston, N.D. Interment followed in Riverview Cemetery.
Gen was born June 11, 1920, in Williston, to Joan and Dr. Edward J. Hagan.
After graduating from Williston High School in 1938, Gen attended the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minn. She returned to Williston in 1940 and worked at American State Bank and at the Williston Chamber of Commerce. Gen moved to Minneapolis in 1943 and held advertising and public relations positions with the clothing company, Munsingwear, and with Minnesota Apparel Industries. Gen relocated to Chicago after being recruited by the upscale department store, Marshall Field’s.
Armed with her experience in the fashion industry, Gen decided to return home to Williston in 1950 and open Gen Hagan’s Youth Shop, which she owned and operated for 45 years. The store became a popular shopping destination in downtown Williston and outfitted generations of loyal customers not only from Williston but from surrounding areas as well. The success of Gen’s store is a testament to her integrity, perseverance and keen business sense. As a female entrepreneur and business leader, Gen was a true pioneer.
A committed supporter of many state and local organizations, Gen served on the University of Mary Board of Regents in Bismarck, N.D., and was an active member of the Williston Chamber of Commerce and St. Joseph’s Catholic Parish. Gen was also an influential and respected fixture at the Minneapolis and Chicago markets where she selected clothing for her store. Fashion industry peers from around the country often looked to Gen for wisdom and guidance.
Gen will be remembered for her style, generosity, fun-loving personality and devotion to her family. She thought of her nieces and nephews as her own children and played an integral role in their upbringing. She chaperoned their swim team trips, chauffeured them to and from school and was the life of every family gathering. Gen took great pride in her family, her community, her faith and her Irish heritage.
Gen has been a resident of Bethel Lutheran Home since 2006. Gen’s family expresses sincere gratitude to the Bethel staff for the superb care she received there.
Gen is survived by her sister-in-law, Kathleen Hagan, Williston. N.D.; nephews and nieces Peter (Lynette) Nygaard, Fargo, N.D.; Joan (Bob) Nygaard, Stevensville, Mont.; Pauline (George) Economon, Fargo, N.D.; Edward (Ann) Beddow, Jackson, Wyo.; Timothy (Doreen) Beddow, Cleveland, Ohio; Patrick (Lisa) Beddow, Billings, Mont.; Mary (Jack) Blake, Midland, Texas; Ed (B.J.) Hagan, Essex, Mont.; Michael (Deb) Hagan, Billings, Mont.; Mary Gen (David) Ledecky, Bethesda, Md.; Anne (Jim) Nichols, Billings, Mont.; Peg Hagan, Williston, N.D.; Mary Colleen (Guy) Letendre, Ogden, Utah; and 32 great-nephews and nieces.
Preceding Gen in death were her parents, her brother, Dr. E.J. Hagan, her sisters, Kay Nygaard and Eveleen Beddow, and her niece, Katie Keogh.
Memorial contributions may be made to Bethel Lutheran Foundation, St. Joseph’s Catholic School and Parish, Mercy Medical Foundation or the charity of your choice.
Friends may visit the Everson-Coughlin Funeral Home website at www.eversoncoughlin.com to share thoughts and remembrances with Gen’s family.