Carl Johan Vaagen

Carl J. Vaagen, 92, Minot, formerly of Carpio, died Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, at Trinity Hospital in Minot.

Carl was born Jan. 6, 1921, to Samuel and Amanda (Weirson) Vaagen, and was raised and educated near Carpio. He enlisted in the Army Air Forces at Spokane, Wash., on Sept 22, 1946. Carl trained as a B-52 tail gunner and was assigned to the Thieme Crew, 449th Bomb Group. Carl was aboard the plane “Betty Ann” on Dec. 15, 1943, when severe weather had catastrophic effects on the plane over Morocco. Carl bailed out successfully but broke both legs in two places. After this Carl was repatriated to the U.S. for recovery.

After his time in the service, he worked at farms in the area and spent some time in the state of Washington and in 1960, he worked at a base for Peter Kiewit. In 1968 he worked for HC Smith for some time. He worked for five years at the Snake Creek Pumping Station while it was being constructed.

On April 15, 1977, he started work at Cenex, now known as Winfield, and drove for 35 years, receiving many awards for his loyalty and safe driving. In a misunderstanding, he thought they had a retirement party for him in 1996 at the age of 75. When he didn’t show up for work the next day they called him wondering where he was. He said he thought since they had a retirement party for him that he was done with work. They said it was to celebrate his 75th birthday. Carl worked right up until the spring of 2012, and at the age of 91, he finally retired. On Dec. 12, 2012, he was honored with his real retirement party.

He was a confirmed bachelor, brother and uncle who loved to be with his family. To anyone who met him, all loved and knew him as Uncle Carl. To many he was more than that, he was a father figure and a grandpa figure, one we could turn to for everything. He was our rock, he was always there at any time of need or to simply stop by daily to bring the paper and stop for a visit. In earlier years you could always find him quietly sitting in a rocking chair with a pipe, deep in thought and many times one of the children on his knee. You could always find him at auction sales looking for his latest treasure. If none of the kids could come with him he would be sure to stop by after the sale so we could go through his pickup box to see what he found. Uncle Carl remembered everything and was the family “book of knowledge.”

He will be deeply missed.

He is survived by: brothers, Vernon Vaagen, Colville, Wash., and Harold (Connie) Vaagen, Fort Morgan, Colo.; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Orville; Palmer “Bud”; Severien “Sev”; Bertel “Bert”; Earl and Lloyd; and a sister, Amanda Asbe, along with an infant brother and sister.

Funeral service: Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, at 1 p.m., with visitation one hour prior at Carpio Lutheran Church, Carpio.

Burial: Nazareth Lutheran Cemetery, rural Carpio.

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(Thompson-Larson Funeral Home, Minot)