Cover photo for Virgil Hagel's Obituary
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1932 Virgil 2023

Virgil Hagel

July 5, 1932 — June 10, 2023



Virgil Arlen Hagel was born in Havana Illinois on July 5, 1932, to Ernest and Hazel (Murphy) Hagel. He passed away June 10, 2023, at Gordon Memorial Hospital, Gordon, Nebraska.  He attended school in Scottsbluff Nebraska.  On January 30, 1952, he married Patricia L. (Bartels) Hagel.   Five children were born to this union.  After Patricia’s death in 1996, Virgil married Joyce Cahoy-Williamson on December 19, 1997, and became a father to Joyce’s 5 children. 

Early in his life he was involved in the Gering Volunteer Fire Department and EMT.  He enjoyed spending time with his family and Army buddies on Sunday at Lake Minatare and gardening.  During his life he received the nickname ‘Snake’ and to this day, no one knows the story behind it.   

Virgil built and managed the Morrison Livestock Sale Barn in Gering Nebraska until 1967 when he became a State Meat Inspector.  In 1970 Virgil became a Federal Meat Inspector with the USDA until his retirement in 2020.  The family moved to Gordon Nebraska in 1971.

Virgil joined the US Army in 1952 and was active duty for two years. He then went on to serve in the US Guards until 1975, earning a bronze star with valor device during the Korean War for his heroism against the enemy.  He also earned the Korean Service Medal with 3 bronze service stars and a United Nations Service Medal. 

Virgil was very active in the American Legion wherever he lived and was known throughout the State for his dedication to all Veterans.  Virgil served on many boards to improve Veterans benefits, healthcare, access to care, etc.  He was on the Nebraska Governor’s Board for the Veterans for 30 years, served as the Nebraska Legion Commander in 1985-1986 and the DAV Commander 2016-2022, DAV Judge Advocate 2022, Adjutant /Finance Officer District 1 American Legion.   He was instrumental in establishing the State Veteran’s Cemetery in Alliance and rebuilding the Gordon American Legion Hall.  He also served as a Veteran’s Liaison to Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel, in 2013-2015. 

Virgil is survived by his wife of 25 years, Joyce Cahoy-Hagel, Virgil Hagel, Jr. (Diana), Linda (Kirk) Shipley, Cindy (Jim) Kime, Brenda Hagel, Wendy (David) Kilby, Donnie Williamson, Jr., Courtney (Andrew) Johnson, Torri Haytack, Katrina (Tim) Gonzales, Dominic Cahoy-Williamson (Lindsay), 29 grandchildren, 22 great grandchildren and 10 great-great grandchildren. 

Virgil was preceded in death by his first wife Patricia, grandsons Brian Gwynn, Christopher Kime and Travis Hagel, his 5 sisters and parents. 

Memorial services will be held Friday, June 16, 2023, 2:00 pm at St. Leo’s Catholic Church, Gordon, Nebraska. Inurnment with Military Honors will be held in the Gordon Cemetery. A memorial has been established and donations may be sent in care of Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home, PO Box 366, Gordon, NE 69343.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Virgil Hagel, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Vigil Service

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Starts at 7:00 pm (Mountain time)

St. Leo's Catholic Church

228 N Maverick St, Gordon, NE 69343

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Friday, June 16, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Mountain time)

St. Leo's Catholic Church

228 N Maverick St, Gordon, NE 69343

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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