Jan Hagen-Frederiksen died peacefully in his home on April 11, 2019 in Mechanicsburg, at the age of 77.
Jan is survived by his wife, Lis Hagen-Frederiksen; his two children, Nils Hagen-Frederiksen (Mary Hagen-Frederiksen) of Mechanicsburg; and Karin Frederiksen Long (Michael Long) of Camp Hill; his four grandchildren, Christian Hagen-Frederiksen of Pittsburgh; Alexander Hagen-Frederiksen of Lancaster; Jackson Long and Nathaniel Long of Camp Hill; his sister, Eva Andrew (Colin Andrew) of Auburn; and grandniece, Vanessa Andrew of Winter Garden, Fla.
He was born on April 23, 1941 in Koege, Denmark to Carl Frederiksen and Eva Hagen, who combined their respective last names to create their son’s unique last name, “Hagen-Frederiksen.” In September of 1947, the family emigrated from post-war Europe and settled in Pottsville, where they opened a family business, The Danish Bakery – spreading the love of fine pastry throughout Pennsylvania.
Following graduation from Pottsville High School in 1959, Jan returned to Denmark to reconnect with his Scandinavian family and continue his studies. While attending Magleos Hojskole in Hosterkob, he fell for a beautiful redhead, Lis Boesen, and delayed his return to the U.S. in order to spend as much time as possible with her.
Eventually, at the insistence of his parents, Jan traveled back to the U.S. to begin studies at Gettysburg College, but Lis was not far behind. She came for a “visit” in 1960 and stayed with him for the next 58 years. They were married in 1962.
Jan graduated from Gettysburg College in 1964 with a degree in German and shortly thereafter the couple moved to Lewistown, where he began his first career, as a high school German teacher. After nearly 20 years in the classroom, Jan began a second career in the insurance industry – teaching countless others about sound financial planning. After retiring from Galtfelter Insurance Group in 2009, he dedicated himself to a third “career” of activities – spending time with family and friends, and working with the Loaves of Love food bank program in Harrisburg.
A member of Mechanicsburg Presbyterian Church, Jan studied language and history around the world and was an accomplished linguist. He loved traveling with Lis and his family, driving his personalized Saab (and teaching everyone about Scandinavian cars), sports car racing, the constant quest to grow perfect tomatoes, and the joy of cultivating a unique collection of Danish memorabilia and railroad models.
Witty, gregarious and loving – he was passionate about friendship, politics and human rights. His warm laughter, occasional bouts of brutal honesty and playful sarcasm will be missed by all who knew him.
A funeral is scheduled for Saturday, April 27, at 11 a.m. at Mechanicsburg Presbyterian Church, 300 E. Simpson St., Mechanicsburg with a luncheon to follow. Pastor Kathryn Johnston will officiate the ceremony. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Jan’s spirit and joy for life.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Homeland Hospice, 2300 Vartan Way, Suite 270, Harrisburg, PA 17110.