James Hagerty

Date of Birth

Feb 09,1927

Date of Death

Dec 27,2017

James Hagerty, age 90, of St. Charles passed away in the evening on December 27, with his family by his side. Jim was born on February 19, 1927 to loving parents John and Sophie (Sajet) Hagerty in Brooklyn, New York. Jim and his parents lived in Brooklyn, New York until about 1937 before they made their home in Chicago, IL, where he spent most of his childhood years. Before high school, Jim and his family moved to Geneva, IL where not only attended Geneva High School, but caught the attention of Miss Jeane Swinehamer as well. After high school, Jim attended Northwestern University for a time. Jim caught more than the eye of Jeane Swinehamer, before his high school years were through, he had caught her heart as well. Before they could tie the knot, they had to wait until “Uncle Sam” had finished with him. Jim faithfully served his country from June of 1945 until November of 1946. He returned, not only to civilian life, but to that prettiest gal in town as well. Their courtship continued until they were united in marriage on April 25, 1953 in Geneva, IL. They began their new life together in St. Charles where they settled down in the home they built. A few years later they filled that home with love and laughter by means of a son and daughter. Paul Hagerty was welcomed to the family in 1964 and then their family became complete when they welcomed their daughter Ann in 1967. Soon after the kids were born, they moved a short way to their present home in St. Charles, IL. After returning from the military, Jim worked at Mid Valley Lumber in Geneva for several years. While at Mid Valley, Jim gained an interest in garage doors. Jim created his own company, Jim Hagerty Door Service in 1956 where for a time he partnered with Herb (Clare) Falk, together they created Falk Hagerty Door Service. Not only did Jim gain a partnership, but he also gained a very dear friendship that would last for years. Later Jim returned to his original business, Jim Hagerty Door Service. Jim was a part of the St. Charles Emergency Management Agency (Civil Defense) for 44 years and made a number of friends until his retirement in 2013. He was also a member of the Congregational United Church of Christ where he also on the board and helped built their new church they have today. Jim loved his work, so much so that even when he said he was retiring, and handing down the family business to Paul and Ann, he still would go in to work every day. Pretty soon, Jim’s days were filled with work as well as his grandchildren with whom he loved to laugh and play. On Saturday mornings, his grandsons, Doug and Derek, would visit their grandma while Jim would go work the showroom. Every day included the well-worn ritual of sitting on the steps, putting on his shoes and saying, “I guess that it is time to get going.” He would then sweep Jeane off her feet with a dip worthy of a memorable dance routine and gave a kiss before leaving for the day. The demonstration of his love and appreciation for his beautiful bride was obvious, even to his grandchildren. After Jim would leave for the showroom, Jeane had her own ritual of hiding dollars around the house for the grandkids to find. Jim was forever laughing at Jeanne while she played on the floor with the grandkids. He’d then tell them that they missed some dollars downstairs. This was one of Derek’s favorite memories. After finding all the dollars, Derek and Doug would get to ride with grandpa to Kmart and they would spend their newly found treasure. When the boys were lucky enough, Grandpa Jim would take them to Colonial’s to get some gum flavored ice cream, all the while Derek would play his favorite game called “1,000 questions”. Jim would always answer his questions and would even back up his stories with some of the trinkets in his house. Derek loved every single story his grandpa Jim shared. Later, Derek would make some of his own as a firefighter/ paramedic, ones that Jim would always be so proud to hear. Doug would always remember Jim for the love he showed Jeane. Later in life Doug showed that same love for his own wife, Nicole. When Jim wasn’t in the showroom or telling his grandkids all of his stories, his hands were busy with wood working. He would do small projects for locals, but each one meant a great deal to him. Through Bob (Arlene) Langguth at Eagle Engraving, Jim made plaques for retired police officers and firefighters and would always joke that no one knew it came from “some old guy” in his garage. Through that small partnership, Jim gained a friend for a lifetime. Jim was very proud of his wood working and continued to share his passion, even until his last days. One of the things his grandchildren remember the most was the better grades they would get because Jim would help them with their wood shop class. They would also never forget how to “properly” hammer a nail again. Jim would sometimes even take Paul on trips to the cabin in Pelican Lake, Wisconsin, loving every “father and son” moment along the way. When Jim wasn’t in his shop or hard at work, he was trying to catch a game of his favorite hockey team, the Chicago Blackhawks. Jim was a loving husband, a hard-working dad, a doting grandfather and a caring great-grandfather who will be greatly missed. Jim is survived by two children: Paul Hagerty and Ann (Troy) Tousana; six grandchildren: Doug (Nicole) and Derek (Amanda) Hagerty, Troy Jr., Amber, Trevor, and Trent Tousana; five great-grandchildren: Cody Millhouse, Faith and Levi Hagerty, Chase and Morgan Hagerty; and many nieces and nephew. Jim is also survived by his coffee buddy, Bob (Diane) McCracken. Jim is preceded in death by his parents, John and Sophie, his loving wife of 62 years, Jeane and his sister Jean Ryan.

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