Mary Hagan Volga
Dec. 24, 1937- Nov. 15, 2023
Mary Hagan ended her journey at Prairie Lakes Hospital in Watertown on Nov. 15, 2023. No local services are being planned.
Mary Virginia Hagan (Degnan) began her journey in St Louis Missouri on Christmas Eve of 1937. She was born of the marriage of Virginia Mamie Degnan (Foster) and William Bernard Degnan.
Mary attended and graduated from St Mary’s Catholic School in St. Louis. While attending school, she began her career working for the Fabulous Fox Theatre in Downtown St. Louis. She performed all the roles required at the Theatre, as her father was the General Manager. She fondly told stories of letting in and giving free popcorn to the less fortunate children of the area who wandered the streets. After High School, Mary worked as a Dental Hygienist and it being her favorite job and employer. Once or twice a week the Dentist would have the staff given manicures to help with hygiene and sterilization. He had a plane and pilot’s license, and would take the girls out to lunch at different places in Illinois (Chicago being her favorite), flying them there and back and treating them to nice meals as gratitude for their time and services. Mary was also employed with the St. Louis Hawks.
On Nov. 5, 1957, Mary gave birth to her son Steven Michael Hagan (Schwab) in St Louis, Mo. Mary was seeing Milbourn Martin Joseph Schwab, and after Steve’s birth moved to Poplar Bluff, Missouri. Mary worked for Kresge’s and they had a small mobile home. In 1962, they left everything and moved to Balboa, California, changing their last names to Hagan and creating a whole new life. Their neighbor at the time was none other than Mr. Marion Robert Morrison. Also known as John Wayne, or The Duke.
Mary worked for School Pictures for their first couple years there. She was offered a job as a purchaser at Westminster Hospital, which she accepted and loved. After a couple years, she was offered to become the Purchasing Manager. Westminster Hospital was transformed by some of Mary’s creative business practices. She hired people with disabilities to fill roles and needs in the hospital. This served both greatly, giving people purpose and helping staff at the hospital with grateful employees. While living in Westminster, Mel and Mary helped start a DAV program. They would go to the VA home with their station wagon and load up the paraplegic and quadriplegic Vets and take them to their house. They had a pool and a bar, and would invite others to join in and they would swim and barbecue, and show the vets a good time.
In 1980, Mary was offered an opportunity to help found a new company. Jim Shaw wanted to use his finances and Mary’s business acumen to start a hospital supply company. They started Laguna Coast Associates out of Jim Shaw’s garage. The company flourished. They supplied labels and medical supplies to most of the Orange County hospitals and Pharmacies. Mary employed the same principle of hiring people with disabilities that others wouldn’t employ and helping them succeed and take care of themselves; benefiting everyone.
Throughout their years in California, they had started traveling to Mexico, Texas, Alabama, and around the South with friends. Riding Dune Buggies, dancing, charity, and enjoying life all over. Biloxi, MS and Port Aransas, Tx being her favorite. At some point they became members of the American Sunbathing Association, joining a private campground (Now Resort) called Glen Eden Sun Club, a nudist colony. Two to three weekends a month they spent at the Club helping build it and expand it. They had charity meals with live music and dancing helping out with causes all the time.
In 1992, due to the economic crisis and crash, and the lack of finances due to Mel’s heart attack and subsequent treatments, Mary and Mel decided to move to Brookings, South Dakota where Mary’s mother and sister were now living. Mary’s position was being eliminated, and Mel was developing Alzheimer’s, so small town life appealed to them. Mary initially worked as an independent book and magazine rep. She set up and stocked the books and magazines for Kmart, and Walmart, in Brookings; and Pamida in Madison, SD.
In April, 1993, her daughter Bethann and her husband David moved to Brookings also, and they started a house cleaning business. Kmart was moving to a new facility and her sister Pat Jensen convinced Mary to come work with Kmart, assisting them in moving to the new building. Mary worked for Kmart for ten years before retiring.
Mel’s Alzheimer’s had progressed and she needed to be home more. After Mel’s passing, she moved to Volga, SD. Her nephew lived with her to assist with the chores, and she helped take care of him due to health problems; eventually the roles reversing. Becoming bored, Mary decided to go work for Hy-Vee with her best friends Rosey and Helen. They worked early shift stocking and facing the shelves, and going out to eat and shopping or gambling after work.
They enjoyed taking in movies and enjoying their Golden Years. She worked for Hy-Vee for 12 years until she broke her arm in an accident at work. This forced her to have to retire permanently.
To break the monotony of being retired, Mary’s grandson Chris came by and helped out, and took her on trips all over the country. To go to and see places she had never been. They went on trips to see her daughter and granddaughter and great grandchildren in Nampa, Idaho. To Oregon, Washington, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee, enjoying new experiences, food, people, and places along the way. She really enjoyed all the time and meals spent with Chris, Jen, Solomon, Sarah and Serenity. Calling them all her angels.
Mary enjoyed family meals, gambling (especially Circus Circus) video lottery, reading, traveling, crossword puzzles, sudoku, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, and living a simple, happy, loving life. She had a long and rewarding journey, and now begins the next.
Mary is survived by her daughter, Bethann (David) Duclos-King of Nampa, Idaho; her grandson, Chris Hagan (Jen Brown) of Brookings, SD, and their children Solomon, Sarah, and Serenity Hagan; Chere Fuller (King) of Nampa, Idaho and her children Dawson Mix, Elijah and Kamberlynn Steider; her nephew, companion, aide, chauffeur, and gambling partner, Bill Jensen of Brookings, SD.
Mary was preceded in starting a new journey by her beloved husband, Milbourn Martin Joseph Schwab (Mel Hagan); her son, Steven Hagan; her mother, Virginia (Norbert) Murphy (Degnan)(Foster); and her sister, Pat (Andy) Jensen (Degnan).