Remembering the “Great Dane” Through the Celebration of Life!
By: Sam N Bartee
It should come as no surprise that during the 97-minute funeral service, May 11, 2021 for Dr. Ib Hagsten, a vast majority of the time focused on various family members, friends, work associates, (and ASAC’s John Jackson) sharing “stories” about one of the world’s premier “storytellers!” For those of us fortunate to have known Ib, we all could easily fill up a big-volume book of stories about his impact and influence to make us think, evaluate and sometimes just suggest that you might need to “take a deep breath and count to 10” when warranted.
As you might suspect, the congregation heard tidbits about how Ib always made them feel special and how his gift of genuine kindness was on display for the world to see. Along with Ib’s wife, Patricia, and daughters, Ellen and Lisa, we collectively shook our heads, smiled and appropriately laughed at times about “timeless stories” of Ib giving us “life lessons” in gratitude, humility, and hope. If you read the monthly ASAC Communiqué, Ib always provided a nice balance of ASAC news along with some other words of wisdom he had gleaned through reading of books and periodicals.
I vividly remember my last phone conversation with Ib a few months ago. I was driving in northwest KS and had to pull off the highway to ensure a good cell phone connection. It was late in the day and as the sun was setting in the west, I shared with Ib about the beautiful sunset I was witnessing. Without missing a beat, Ib intertwined his strong Christian faith by sharing that God certainly knew how to use a paintbrush very effectively in the heavenly sky and there would be many more beautiful works of art to come! Just another example of Ib’s innate ability to get me focused for the moment.
While visiting with John Jackson after the internment service, I was looking to the west and thought, “what an awesome burial site with the small lake nearby, the serene beauty of the hillside and stunning view for countless sunsets for The Great Dane! Rest in peace my friend.