Donald S. Hoagland, age 93, of Cambridge passed away January 27, 2009 at his home in GracePointe Crossing -The Commons in Cambridge. A funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, January 31st at Christ the King Catholic Church in Cambridge with Father James David Hahn as celebrant. A visitation will be held from 4:00 – 8:00 P.M. on Friday, January 30th at Strike Funeral Home – Cambridge Chapel and also 1 hour prior to the funeral Saturday at the church.
Donald Stuart Hoagland was born on April 18, 1915 in Brook Park, Minnesota to Clark Hoagland and Abbey May Alderman. He was raised on a farm in eastern Minnesota just north of the town of Brook Park with two brothers, Leslie and David, and the cousin whom he loved as a sister, Ethel Alderman Haugen. He missed his brother Les, who was lost to diabetes in 1952.
Don completed high school in Cambridge, MN in 1933 where he was valedictorian of his graduating class. After high school and a year at the University of Minnesota, he worked at several odd jobs, including farm worker and house painter. He handled the team of horses that helped built Highway 95 east of St. Cloud.
He was drafted into the Army in the spring of 1941 for a one-year rotation and assigned to Company I, 135th Infantry, 34th Division, the Red Bull division. He was on guard duty at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana when he heard of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and knew that he would not be going home anytime soon. His one-year rotation in the Army turned into four and a half years. He was on one of the first ships into Algiers harbor at the opening of the Allied offensive and served with distinction in Africa and Italy, earning Bronze and Silver Stars at the battle for Cassino. He left the military as a 1st Sergeant in July of 1945.
Just a few weeks before entering the military, he met a pretty girl named Mary Pulkrabek on a blind date. They corresponded while he was on active duty and were married in October of 1944. They had six children and were happily married for almost 60 years.
After his military service, Don was hired as a farm implement salesman for Superior Separator Company, later known as Farmhand, Inc. As a Farmhand employee, he moved from Montana to Kansas to North Dakota before being promoted to Sales Manager and settling permanently in Bloomington, MN. He retired from Farmhand in 1984 as Vice President for Marketing.
Upon retirement, he moved back to the country and devoted himself to the things that he loved the best family, friends, reading, gardening, and enjoying the out of doors. In his final weeks, he celebrated Christmas with his family and held his new born great-grandson.
Donald Hoagland passed away January 27, 2009 at his home at GracePointe Crossing, The Commons, at the age of 93 years, 9 months and 9 days. He was preceded in death by his parents, by his wife, Mary in 2003, and by his brother, Les.
Don is survived by children Sharon Metcalf, Ken (Becky), Kathy (Charles) Fitze, Ann Hoagland, John (Barbara), and Robert; grandchildren Matthew Fitze, Stephen Fitze, Jenny Fitze (Kyle) Jendro, Todd Schwarzinger, Cory (Theresa) Schwarzinger, Michael (Heather) Hoagland, Susan Hoagland, Cole Metcalf, Lauren Blacik, and Erin Blacik; great-grandchildren Allie Schwarzinger and Isaac Jendro; brother David Hoagland; cousin Ethel (Dave) Haugen; many nieces and nephews.