Rev. Alan Hagstrom, 77, passed away peacefully at home with his family October 27, 2022. He was preceded in death by his parents, Frances and Clarence; and his brother, Ron. He is survived by his brother, David (Karen); children, Paul (Marina), Karen (Brian), and Sarah (Rogelio); and grandchildren, Abby (Chase), Bailey, and Logan.
Alan was a gentle soul who lived a life of devotion to family, faith, and community.
Throughout his childhood he and his family were deeply involved in their local Methodist church in Oak Park, IL, and in the Scouting program. Alan was a Cub Scout, Boy Scout, and Explorer Scout, earning most of the awards that could be earned: Eagle Scout, God and Country, Order of the Arrow, and he was president of the Explorer Post for two years.
His early experiences with his church and with the loving support of his extended family and local community inspired him to earn a BA in Sociology from Carleton College and then to continue on to receive a M. Div. in Religion and American Culture at the Chicago Theological Seminary, and a D. Min. in Education and Pastoral Care at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.
Over the course of his career, Alan was a beloved pastor, hospice chapter founder, hospice chaplain, hospital chaplain, nursing home chaplain, sheriff's department chaplain, grief group founder, grief group counselor, ethics advisor, church education program director, civil rights activist, and even an opera house manager.
Throughout his extensive career in various cultural and faith-based leadership positions, he continued to find it difficult to project his voice across a room and vastly preferred providing personal pastoral care and leading small group discussions to giving sermons. Above all, what motivated Alan was building and facilitating diverse communities in which people of all faiths and backgrounds could be welcomed, supported, developed, respected, loved unconditionally, and appreciated for everything they brought to the group. He believed that Christ is a mode of being in the world, not a set of doctrines, and endeavored always to embody this belief.
In retirement, he continued to provide chaplaincy services and fill other pastoral-care roles on occasion, but he prioritized spending time with his children, grandchildren, close friends, and extended family, and he devoted himself to researching and sharing his family history and Swedish heritage. He was finally able to indulge his deep fascination with all things Swedish, most notably by traveling multiple times to Sweden to experience the culture, learn as much as he could about his family, and build relationships with relatives still living there. He was surely one of the most enthusiastic tour guides that the Gammelgården Museum in Scandia and the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis have ever had on their staff.
He will be deeply and continually missed by his family and by the countless others whose lives he has profoundly touched. There are a lot of us who hardly know where to put our grief and gratitude in this moment. Alan brought so much to this world, but above all he brought kindness to everyone he met. Our hearts are emptier for having lost him but infinitely more full for having known him.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to Lakeview Hospice or the American Cancer Society and be kind to everyone you encounter today.
A Celebration of Alan's Life will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, November 12th, with visitation one hour prior, at Bradshaw, 2800 Curve Crest Blvd, Stillwater.