William L. “Bill” Hagan, 83, passed away on January 24th, 2020 in Castro Valley, CA. Born March 21st, 1936 to Delmar and Marsellia (Hall) Hagan in Atkinson, Illinois an alum of Geneseo High School Class of 1953, he married his high school sweetheart Janet McKenzie July 27th, 1957.
Bill received both football and wrestling scholarships to attend the University of Illinois where he was part of the 1953 Big Ten Championship Football Team. A U.S. Army Veteran, he served with pride and honor from 1955-1956.
Bill was a graduate of the University of Illinois with a B.S. (1959), M.S. (1960) and PhD (1963) in Agronomy and Plant Pathology (Plant Breeding). A lifelong learner, his love of education led him to complete his MBA and to win the honors award for the school of business in 1985 at John F. Kennedy University in Orinda, CA. When referring to his education, Bill often joked, “pretty good for a farm kid from Illinois!”
Bill began a 28 year professional career in Agriculture Research with Del Monte Foods in San Leandro, CA in 1964, and went on to become the Director of Agriculture Research and Seed Operations, and eventually started his own consulting business in Agricultural Systems Management. His love of science continued in his “home garden laboratory” where he cultivated several rose varietals.
Bill’s love of golf and agriculture research led him to become a golf turf consultant.
Bill is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Janet McKenzie Hagan, daughter Kim Hagan, son and daughter in law Kent and Maurine Hagan, sister in law Carolyn Stenzel and family, grandchildren Raquel Mason, Riley Hagan, and Ryder Hagan, and extended family.
Celebration of Life Services will be held on March 15th, 2020 at 11:00AM at Jess C. Spencer Mortuary in Castro Valley Memorial Donations may be made to the University of Illinois Foundation, 1305 West Green Street, Urbana, Illinois 61801 Phone (217) 333-0810 In the memo line, please indicate that the donation is for the “William L. Hagan Memorial Fund”