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John Edward Hager
March 1, 1930 — September 12, 2021
John Edward Hager died September 12, 2021, near his home in Madison, Alabama. He was 91.
Born in Loup City, Nebraska, the son of Carl and Sylvia (Bender) Hager, John was the youngest of five. An infant brother had preceded him in death. John’s father was a lifelong employee of the railroad, and the family stayed in Nebraska, finally settling in Sutton where John attended high school and entered the U.S Army after graduation in 1948.
In 1951, he married Marilyn Jane Riner in services at South Side Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Lima, Ohio. After a brief honeymoon, John went back to his post in Alaska. For a short period, John and his older brother Earl, who was in the US Navy, were stationed in San Francisco. John and Marilyn and Earl and his wife LaVonne spent a memorable period living in and enjoying San Francisco. At his discharge, John and Marilyn returned to Lima and in 1958, moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico where John would go to work for Sandia Laboratories. John and Marilyn spent much of their free time traveling around the state, enjoying the Sandia Mountains as well as the many other historical and scenic sites in the state. John and Marilyn also made lifelong friends during their membership at Monte Vista Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) where they were active members for nearly 25 years.
In 1961, John and Marilyn welcomed their first child, Mark, born October 1, who survives them; and on January 27, 1971 welcomed their second son, Matthew, who was John’s primary caregiver for the last years of his life. Marilyn died in 2019, also in Madison, Alabama.
John’s career took him from Sandia Labs to selling life insurance to again working in the “printed circuit board” world for various companies, as well as teaching the skill in technical and trade schools. In 1979, John moved the family to El Paso, Texas where he worked in a cross-border collaboration with a Mexican manufacturer. John had a “can do” attitude toward all his working relationships. In 1991, the family moved to Florida before settling in northern Alabama in 1994.
John was physically active almost to the end, regularly planting and harvesting his beloved chili peppers — a holdover from his days in New Mexico — as well as mowing the yard and spending time outside. John never lost his love for Nebraska and the sense of possibility he felt there. He kept in regular contact, as he could, with old high school classmates and was always ready with an update or a joke should he be called upon.
John is survived by his sons, Mark, of Houston, Texas and Matthew of Madison, Alabama. In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents, as well as his brothers William and Earl and his sister Betty. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews.
The family will join for a private service at the cremation. No public service will be held. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one’s choice.
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