Virgil Hagel


Memorial Services for 90-year old Virgil Hagel of Gordon, NE, are Friday, June 16, 2023 at 2:00 at St Leo’s Catholic Church in Gordon 

Inurnment with Military Honors will be in the Gordon Cemetery. 

Vigil is Thursday, June 15, at 7:00 at St Leo’s Catholic Church in Gordon. 

A memorial has been established and donations may be sent in care of Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home, PO Box 366, Gordon, NE 69343.

Online condolences may be left at

Virgil Arlen Hagel was born in Havana, IL, on July 5, 1932, to Ernest and Hazel (Murphy) Hagel. He passed away June 10, 2023, at Gordon Memorial Hospital in Gordon.  

Virgil attended school in Scottsbluff, NE, and on January 30, 1952, he married Patricia L (Bartels) Hagel. Five children were born to this union.  

Virgil joined the US Army in 1952 and was on active duty for two years, earning a bronze star for valor during the Korean War for his heroism against the enemy.  

He also earned the Korean Service Medal with 3 bronze service stars and a United Nations Service Medal. He remained in the military for another 2 decades, serving in the National Guard until 1975. 

After Patricia’s death in 1996, Virgil married Joyce Cahoy-Williamson on December 19, 1997, and became a father to Joyce’s 5 children. 

Early in his adult life, Virgil was involved in the Gering, NE, Volunteer Fire Department and EMT.  

He enjoyed spending time with his family and Army buddies on Sunday at Lake Minatare and gardening.  He received the nickname ‘Snake’ and to this day, no one knows the story behind it.   

Virgil built the Morrison Livestock Sale Barn in Gering and managed it until 1967 when he became a State Meat Inspector.  

He became a Federal Meat Inspector with the USDA in 1970 and moved the family to Gordon a year later. He remained with the USDA until retiring in 2020. 

Virgil was very active in the American Legion wherever he lived and was known throughout Nebraska for his dedication to all Veterans.  

Virgil served on many boards to improve the lives of veterans in such areas as benefits, healthcare, and access to care.  

He was on the Governor’s Board for the Veterans for 30 years, served as the Nebraska Legion Commander in 1985-1986 and the DAV Commander 2016-2022. He was also DAV Judge Advocate in 2022, and Adjutant /Finance Officer District 1 American Legion.   

Virgil was instrumental in establishing the State Veterans Cemetery in Alliance and rebuilding the Gordon American Legion Hall.  He also served as a Veteran’s Liaison to Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel, in 2013-2015. 

Virgil is survived by his wife of 25 years Joyce Cahoy-Hagel; children Virgil Hagel Jr (Diana); Linda (Kirk) Shipley; Cindy (Jim) Kime; Brenda Hagel; Wendy (David) Kilby; Donnie Williamson Jr; Courtney (Andrew) Johnson; Torri Haytack; Katrina (Tim) Gonzales; and Dominic Cahoy-Williamson (Lindsay); 29 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren. and 10 great-great-grandchildren. 

Virgil was preceded in death by his first wife Patricia; grandsons Brian Gwynn, Christopher Kime, and Travis Hagel; his 5 sisters; and his parents. 

Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home of Gordon is in charge of arrangements for VIrgil Hagel