87.7 F
Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, July 24, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesKay Hagen, Long-time Island Resident, Died June 28

Kay Hagen, Long-time Island Resident, Died June 28

June 29, 2004 – Kay Hagen, 64, died Monday, June 28, in Riverdale, Md., after a long illness. Her lively spirit and sense of fun brightened many lives on St. Thomas and St. Croix for over 20 years from the late '60s to the mid-'90s. She occasionally lived off-island in San Francisco and New York.
She moved to Maryland in the late '90s to be with her family. She had been living with her brother Alan Hagen for the past several years. She has two other brothers – Gordon Hagen, an attorney in Maryland, and John Hagen, a minister in Minnesota, where a service will be held next month.
Hagen worked at Antilles Air Boats on both St. Thomas and St. Croix at the old Pan Am Pavilion ramp in Christiansted in the late '60s and early '70s, where she was a familiar face. Everyone who traveled knew Kay, including Magoo, an English sheepdog belonging to one of the pilots. Kay was the only one who could lure Magoo off the ramp so the pilot could maneuver his goose into the water. In those days, it never occurred to anyone to leave the dog at home.
Mary Simpson, AAB manager in those years, said Tuesday, "I remember how fun it was to be with Kay, and how good she always looked when I would visit her at Riise's. I'm very sorry."
On St. Thomas, Kay left the gooses to begin a many-year retail career at A.H. Riise, where she managed the China and Crystal Department and occasionally took buying trips to Europe, which she loved.
And Kay loved Frenchtown, where she lived. She became part of the community. She once helped plan a birthday for Cliff Phillip, manager of the Bar Normandie in the '80s, with a novel twist – free Geritol for the first 20 participants. Hagen was one of the original cheerleaders in the mid-'70s Sanitary Cup Race, which involved negotiating a sanitary cup around 13 island bars. It was a unique, if not entirely healthful, venture, St. Thomas's answer to the America's Cup.
Kay was an avid theater fan with a large library of theater lore – biographies, plays, songbooks. And she was not shy about singing a show tune or two, herself. That ability sometimes extended itself to Williams and Daniels, the Main Street upstairs café where her good friend Jeff Smith was maitre d' in the late '80s.
Smith and other friends were thoughtful Monday. Wendy Noble said, "The thing I will remember is her laughter, her good spirits." Over the years, friends have scattered far and wide. On hearing the sad news, they echoed what Noble said in one way or another. She could make you laugh, make you see things in a different light. Kay's sense of fun and her generous spirit were far reaching and, as it turns out, far lasting.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.