|Copied with permission from "From Whence Came the Colebanks" by Warren Colebank, copyright 1989, p.
79 and from "William Cunningham - Pioneer, Patriarch, Preacher" by June Colebank Blanshan.
|Ann Colebank was born July 6, 1921 to John M and Clara
Nasman Colebank in their farm home in Woodside Township,
Polk County, Minnesota. She attended the rural Hillside District
87 grammar school and Mentor High School where she
graduated salutatorian of her class. Ann was active in the 4-H
club and competed in bread baking demonstrations at county
and state fairs in Minnesota. She took teacher’s training at Thief
River Falls, Minnesota in 1939 plus 2 summers at Bemidji State
College. She taught rural schools for 6 years and was the
Norman County 4-H club agent for 2 years.
Ann met Melbourne Hagen at Bemidji State College. They were
introduced by her brother Norman. Ann and Mel were married in
the rural Maple Lake Lutheran Church where Ann grew up.
Attendants were Ann’s sister Martha Ruth and Mel’s cousin Jack
Mel was born April 10, 1921 to Adele Julianna Nelson and
Charles Carl Gragert in the farm home of his maternal
grandparents near Mentor, Minnesota. Mel took the surname of
his stepfather. He attended rural Pleasant View District 52
grammar school in Norman County and graduated from
McIntosh High School in Minnesota in 1939. Mel was on the high
school crop judging team and competed at county and state
levels. He enrolled at Bemidji State College and received
|PETER COLEBANK, father of
JAMES COALBANK, father of,
JAMES D COLEBANK, father of
L S COLEBANK, father of
JOHN M COLEBANK, father of
ANN BERNICE COLEBANK HAGEN
|his teaching degree in 1941. Mel served for a brief period in the U. S. Army Air Corps at Jefferson Barracks,
Missouri and then taught school for 3 years.
Mel and Ann raised their family on the island of Adak in Alaska where Mel worked in civil service on the naval
base for 24 years. Ann also obtained federal employment on Adak. Both were recognized for outstanding work
and given performance awards.
Ann and Mel were raised and confirmed in the Lutheran church. They attended the protestant chapel while on
Adak where Ann participated in church activities, women’s groups, scouts and the advisory school board. Mel
was active in the scouts and PTA. Ann received her AA degree in social science at the University of Alaska in
After Mel’s retirement in 1967, the family returned to Fertile, Minnesota. Following the death of Ann’s parents in
1975 and their children’s leaving home, Mel and Ann returned to Adak for 6 more years where Ann continued
her federal employment and received her AA degree in social science at the University of Alaska in 1981.
Mel passed away in December of 2015 and Ann passed away not long after on January 12, 2016. Both are
buried in the Fertile City Cemetery.
The children of Ann and Mel Hagen are:
Janice Ann Hagen – born April 26, 1949 in Adak Alaska. She married Gregory Dean Gullickson and they have
two children, Charis and Berndt. They reside in Anchorage, Alaska.
Reid Charles Hagen – born December 13, 1952 in Adak, Alaska. He married Grace Ystenes on August 31,
2001 in Fertile, Minnesota. Grace has two children, Molly and Eric. They currently reside near Fertile,
Brent David Hagen – born May 17, 1955 in Adak, Alaska. He married Maureen Donnel and they have two
children, Luke and Mark. They currently reside in Portland, Oregon.
|Ann, center, with her brother John Jr and cousin June Colebank
|Mel and Ann with their children Reid, Janice and Brent
|Janice Hagen Gullickson, husband Gregory and children
Charis and Berndt
|L to R: Ann, Alberta Lunz, Ann's sister Martha Ruth, Audrey
Holmes, and Ann's sister Grace
|Click on the above photo to enter the photo
album from Ann and Mel's 60th wedding
|Click on the above photo to enter the photo
album from Mel Hagen's 91st birthday party
at Fair Meadow Nursing Home in Fertile,
Minnesota on April 9, 2012
|The Hagen family at the Colebank reunion in Kansas City in July 2012. From left:
Brent, Ann, Janice and Reid Hagen.
|Ann Bernice Hagen passed away on Tuesday, January 12, at Sanford
Hospital in Fargo, North Dakota. Ann resided at Fair Meadow Nursing
Home and Assisted Living in Fertile, Minnesota. She was 94.
Anna Bernice Colebank was the 4th child of 7 and eldest daughter
born to Clara and John Colebank in Woodside township, Polk County,
Minnesota. She attended District 8 School through 8th grade and
graduated from Mentor High School in 1934. Earning an elementary
teaching certificate at Thief River Falls, Ann taught rural school for 6
years in Polk and Norman counties. Ann furthered her education at
Bemidji State Teachers College and served as county 4-H Club agent
in Cass and Norman Counties for 3 years. In June of 1946 Ann
married Melbourne Charles Hagen at Maple Lake Lutheran Church
and moved to Adak, Alaska where they both worked for the Army
Engineers. Ann and Mel celebrated 69 years of marriage in 2015. They
resided in Alaska for over 50 years however maintained family ties by
returning to Minnesota every other summer.
Ann’s career with civil service totaled 29 years in Alaska; on the island
of Adak with the office of civilian personnel; in Anchorage with the
Bureau of Land Management; and briefly in Crookston, Minnesota for
Selective Service/Social Security. Ann’s retirement years were filled
with volunteer work for the Anchorage Senior Activity Center, travel and
active participation in the annual Alaska Run for Women and Heart
Run. Ann traveled with family as far as St Petersburg, Russia, England,
Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Estonia, Finland and Denmark. Together she
and Mel made numerous trips to Hawaii for sunshine and Oregon,
Virginia and Louisiana to visit family. Ann renewed her passport at the
age of 90 with plans to visit her granddaughter in Norway.
Prior to moving into Fair Meadow Assisted Living (2013), Ann resided
in Anchorage and attended First Free Methodist Church. She was
steadfast in her faith and love of the Lord. Ann enjoyed reading,
Skyping, emailing and contributing to the “family letter.” At Fair Meadow
Ann reconnected with friends from her growing up years. Ann will be
dearly missed by her immediate family, many friends, and extended
Ann is survived by her sister, Martha Ruth Smith, DeRidder, Louisiana;
daughter Janice (Greg) Gullickson, Anchorage, AK; two sons Reid
(Grace), Fertile and Brent (Maureen), Portland, OR; six grandchildren
and four great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law: Esther Colebank and
Judy Millen. Ann was preceded in death by her husband, Mel; brothers,
Maynard, Lawrence, Norman and John Colebank; and sister, Grace
Funeral services will be on Saturday, January 23, 2016, at 11 AM in the
Hope Evangelical Free Church, Fertile, MN.
Visitation will be on Friday, January 22, 2016, from 5-7 pm with a prayer
service at 6:30 pm in the Erikson-Vik-Ganje Funeral Home, Fertile, MN.
Burial will be in the Fertile City Cemetery, Fertile, MN.
|Melbourne Charles Hagen passed away on Saturday, December 12
at Fair Meadow Nursing Home, Fertile, Minnesota. He was 94.
Mel was born April 10, 1921 to Adele Julianna (Nelson) and Charles
Carl Gragert at the farm home of his maternal grandparents In Grove
Park Township near Mentor, Minnesota. He was baptized at West
Wild Rice Lutheran Church near Twin Valley and confirmed at Union
Lake Lutheran Church. Mel attended rural Pleasant View District 52
School in Norman County through the eighth grade when his family
moved to a farm northwest of Winger, Minnesota. Mel took the
surname of his stepfather, Richard Hagen. Mel graduated from
McIntosh High School and in 1939 he enrolled at Bemidji State
College and earned his teaching degree in 1941. Mel taught rural
school for three years, beginning in Pleasant View District 52, and
later at Grove School near Perley, Minnesota. A dedicated teacher,
he often worked during after school hours to provide tutorial
assistance to his students. After all these years Mel remained in
contact with his former students, including one in New Mexico and
two in Norman County who called or visited him at Fair Meadow. Mel
enjoyed listening to their recollections from school days, about when
he played songs on the guitar and not to mention that they
considered him their favorite teacher.
Mel’s teaching career ended during World War II when he served for
a brief period in the U. S. Army Air Corps at Jefferson Barracks,
Missouri. In 1944 he accepted a job with a contractor in charge of a
runway extension project at an Army Air Force Base on Shemya
Island in the Aleutians in territorial Alaska. Later Mel moved to the
nearby island of Adak where he worked in civil service with the
transportation dispatch office for the Army. When the U.S. Navy took
over the base, Mel became supervisor of fuel distribution and
worked in this capacity for 24 years until his retirement in 1967. Mel
received numerous performance awards and was recognized by the
Department of Defense for his outstanding work.
Mel met Ann Bernice Colebank while attending Bemidji State and
they were married five years later at Maple Lake Lutheran Church on
June 26, 1946. Mel and Ann raised their family of three children on
Adak. Mel was active in the scouts and PTA.
When Mel retired in 1967 the family returned to Fertile, Minnesota.
Following the death of Ann’s parents in 1975 and with their children
no longer at home, Mel and Ann returned to Adak for additional six
years. In 1982 they moved to Anchorage, Alaska where Mel resided
until May 2011 when he moved to the Fair Meadow Nursing Home.
Mel often spoke highly of his six grandchildren and was so very
proud of their many and varied accomplishments. Mel was as proud
of his new cars as he was of his family. He especially cherished his
first car, a 51 Black Cherry Champion Studebaker with traction
control and rear seat heater. The car was a special order and
delivered to the Colebank farm as a surprise for Ann.
Mel’s family and friends enjoyed his sense of humor and
idiosyncrasies, sometimes fondly referred to as “Melbourneisms.”
Mel loved music, spending hours listening to Daniel O’Donnell
gospel and viewing weekly Lawrence Welk shows. At Fair Meadow
he formed a close relationship with many of the nurses and staff.
Mel is survived by his wife Ann, daughter Janice (Greg) Gullickson,
Anchorage, AK, and two sons Reid (Grace), Fertile and Brent
(Maureen), Portland, OR; six grandchildren and four great-
grandchildren; half brother Dick (Marion) Hagen, Sierra Vista, AZ and
a cousin, Jack (Pat) Gragert , Peoria, AZ. Mel was preceded in death
by his parents and half sister Ardis (Phillip) Parker.
Funeral services will be on Saturday, December 19, 2015, at 11 AM
in the Hope Evangelical Free Church, Fertile, MN.
Visitation will be one hour before services at the church.
Burial will be in the Fertile City Cemetery, Fertile, MN.
|OBITUARIES OF ANN AND MEL HAGEN