Virginia Audrey (Hagen) Doerschlag


February 14, 2024

Virginia Audrey (Hagen) Doerschlag passed away from natural causes on December 30, 2023, at the age of 98. She was born October 3, 1925, to John Sanford Hagen and Audrey Nina (Schwenke) Hagen in Bainville, Montana. John and Audrey moved to Chester, Montana where John was employed by Great Northern Railway. Virginia is the oldest of five children, a brother Clinton, a sister Joyce and twin brothers Myron and Marvin. Her father was later transferred to Zurich, Montana where Virginia attended eight years of grade school and three years of high school in Chinook, Montana. She finished her senior year in Big Sandy, Montana.

Virginia could not be idle in the summer following her graduation and began training at the Big Sandy Railroad Depot including learning morse code and telegraphy. She also helped with the bookkeeping, selling tickets, and calling train crews to work. This was during World War II when many of the young railroad workers were called to serve their country and women were employed in the station until the service men returned home.

It was in Sweet Grass, Montana where she met a very handsome gentleman named Donald James Doerschlag, a member of the US Border Patrol. They moved to Spokane, Washington, where Don's parents lived and were married on September 11, 1945. Don began working with International Harvester Company, a heavy construction company, and Virginia began a bookkeeping career in the banking industry. Don's work with International Harvester took them to several places including Chicago, Denver, and Sacramento. Virginia continued her bookkeeping career with the State of California. She attended Central California Commercial College when Don's job took them to Fresno, California. Don and Virginia moved back to Montana in 1969 when Don purchased a heavy construction equipment business. He sold the company in 1979 and his retirement led them to both Arizona and Utah. Don and Virginia later settled in Bigfork, Montana, and then later in Kalispell, Montana.

Virginia loved playing golf where she was involved in organizing several ladies' tournaments. Those that knew her, remember her passion for sewing and her endless supply of fabric that Don so kindly moved from home to home throughout their marriage. While living in Utah, Virginia took flying lessons since Don was already a pilot and flew them from place to place. Even though she never applied for a pilot's license, she always felt she could "get the plane down" if she had to. Virginia loved reading, working with numbers, and doing puzzles. Virginia and Don would typically play a game of Rummikub each night after sharing a "Schwan's" dinner.

Virginia and Don traveled throughout their marriage including cruises, Shriners events, and business conventions. They lived in nine different states. Virginia was always so grateful for the many friends they met along the way, many of which stayed in touch through letters, calls, and Christmas cards. Speaking of Christmas cards, Virginia had two index card boxes filled with the names and addresses of the 100+ friends and families that she sent holiday cards to. She took great care in always adding a personalized message on each card expressing her genuine care for others. Many will recall the Guardian Angel pin that Virginia always wore, which is a bit ironic since she was the Guardian Angel in many of our lives.

She was preceded in death by her husband Donald in 2011 after 66 years of marriage. She is also preceded in death by her parents, John and Audrey Hagen, her brothers Marvin and Clinton Hagen, her sister Joyce Paliga Powell, and many aunts, uncles, cousins, and in-laws.

Virgina is survived by her brother, Myron Hagen of Post Falls, Idaho; niece Renee (Clayton) Larson of Anchorage, Alaska; niece Cheryl (Al) Abrahamson of Libby, Montana; nephew Ivan Hagen of Libby, Montana; niece Cindy Williams of Libby, Montana; niece Lori (Lou) Landino of Seattle, Washington; nephew Mitch (Shannon) Paliga of Berwyn, Illinois; cousins Celeste (Gary) McArthur, Carol (Allen) Bonenko, Andrea Coughlin, and many more Schwenke, Doerschlag, and Hagen family members.

At Virginia's request there will be no services. Her ashes, along with those of her husband Don and their two dear dachshunds will be scattered later this year in one of their favorite places. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Virginia's favorite organizations - Shriner's Hospital in Spokane and the Humane Society of Northwest Montana.


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