Jefferson: Friends, family in Port Ludlow dedicate flagpole to patriot

PORT LUDLOW — With the blue sky as a backdrop, friends and family gathered at Port Ludlow Community Church on Sunday to dedicate a flagpole and garden in memory of a retired Air Force colonel who served God and country.

He was both a warrior for his country and a warrior for his God, said J. Paul Taylor, church pastor.

Gary E. Hagen died Nov. 26 at the age of 65 after a six-month battle with acute leukemia.

The memorial, a landscaped area with benches surrounding a flagpole, was built with donations made in his memory, according to Judie Hagen, his widow.

J. Paul Hagen served as a church administrator at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in California after retiring from the military in 1985. He also did mission work in South American and Africa. Retiring to Port Ludlow in 1999, he was a leader in the community and the church.

I hope everyone will return to this spot and enjoy it and remember my husband, Judie Hagen said. It’s a place to come together in unity and love.

Judie’s brother-in-law, retired Lt. Col. Brian Killmer, and a color guard from McChord Air Force Base raised the Stars and Stripes on the white flagpole, topped with a gold-painted eagle in flight.

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