Sharon Hageman

Monday, May 6, 2024 3:56 pm

Sharon K. Hageman, 82, of Waukon, formerly of Frankville, passed away surrounded by her family on Thursday, May 2, 2024, at Good Samaritan Center in Waukon.

Memorial services will be held Thursday, May 16, at 11 a.m. at St. Benedict Catholic Church in Decorah. Burial will be at Freeport Cemetery. Friends may greet the family from 9:30 a.m. until the time of services Thursday at church. Martin-Grau Funeral Home in Waukon is handling arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to WinnMed Hospice in Decorah or to Freeport Cemetery.

Sharon Kay Hageman was born Nov. 24, 1941, in LeRoy, Minn., the daughter of D. Clair and Viola Louise (Tieskotter) Palmer. Throughout her life, she lived in Ostrander, Minn., and the Iowa communities of Freeport, Frankville, Decorah, and Waukon. Sharon attended the one-room schoolhouse in Freeport before going to Decorah High School.

As a young child, Sharon loved the woods; she and brother, and her best friend, Daryl would escape there whenever they were able. As an adult, she loved going to the woods to dig up wildflowers, always keeping a shovel and bucket in her car for such occasions. Also in her youth, Sharon liked riding with her dad on his Decorah milk route, helping deliver bottled milk, and became active in 4H as well. In 4H, she made a lifelong friend with Edna Mae Thompson, the group leader.

While still a teenager, Sharon shared an apartment with three or four other young women and worked at a Decorah restaurant. One of her roommates, Rita, would later become her sister-in-law; as the other girls wanted to go out and have fun, Rita would say she still needed to write to her brother Roman Hageman, who was in the Army. To help get them out the door quicker, Sharon started writing to Roman instead so Rita could get ready to go. Eventually, Sharon and Roman became pen pals themselves, later meeting and falling in love. They married Jan. 2, 1960, at St. Benedict’s Catholic Church in Decorah and became the parents of: Janice, John, Jennifer (who died in infancy), and Julie. As a young couple, they socialized with other couples, going dancing and playing cards at each other’s’ houses while the kids played together. In Freeport, Sharon also met other young housewives for coffee at each other’s house, again while the kids played.

Sharon held various jobs including: working at Ostrander’s restaurant in Decorah and cooking for Livingoods in Frankville and at Oneota Country Club near Freeport. She also waitressed at Mabe’s Pizza in Decorah and was co-owner of So Country, Sew Original. Sharon spent many hours sewing and gifting embroidered items and crafted with her daughter Jan for 20 years, selling items to shops and at shows. They often did as much laughing as sewing while watching the grandkids. She was a member of St. Benedict’s Catholic Church and Rosary Society, the Frankville Fireflies, Frankville Street Light Association, and was vice president of the Freeport Cemetery Association.

An avid gardener, Sharon canned most of her produce. She enjoyed baking for her family and often when her kids got off the school bus, they could smell the homemade buns cooling on the kitchen table. She also made the best watermelon pickles.

Sharon was very patriotic, having her husband and many family members serve in the military and during wartime. She was always willing to help others, holding no judgement, and was especially compassionate with seniors. Sharon enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren, having adventures and sparking their imaginations.

She was organized and neat, saving cherished keepsakes and memories. She took great pride in how her house was decorated, designing her own creations using refurbished and repurposed treasures found while thrifting and antiquing with her two daughters. Holidays were especially fun for her to decorate for and have all the family together. Halloween was her favorite and she loved dressing up and helping others with homemade costumes.

Most people don’t realize that Sharon was fluent in a foreign language. Roman would tell the kids that Mom was talking in her sleep; when asked what she said, he responded, “I don’t know; she was talking in Chinese.”

Once when her doctor was rehoming a small dog, Sharon took it home and told Roman that they were just watching it for a couple of weeks while the doctor was on vacation. Of course, they both fell in love with the dog, so she got to stay.

Her favorite place for peace and quiet was either on a porch swing or at the picnic table reading, enjoying nature, and maybe having a treat of an Almond Joy or popcorn. Sharon loved to read so it was especially sad when she could no longer see well enough to do so. Though struggling with Alzheimer’s in her final years, she kept her sense humor and was kind, caring, and thoughtful of others. Seldom able to remember people or events from her past or day to day, Sharon still loved music and would sing along, remembering all the lyrics.

Sharon is survived by three children: Janice (Charles) Berg of Waukon, John (Deana) Hageman of Decorah, and Julie (Dave) Hageman Bell of Waukon; seven grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; two sisters: Mary Ellen (Paul) Farley of Waukon and Linda (Gerry) Johnson of Decorah; four brothers: Daryl (Dorothy) Palmer of E. Olympia, Wash., Jim (Alice) Palmer of Castalia, Harlan (Diane) Palmer of Burr Oak, and Kevin (Sharon Phinney) Palmer of Shelton, Wash.; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; infant daughter Jennifer; her husband Roman in 2013; infant grandson Jonah Hageman; a brother David Palmer; a sister Lois Matter; mother and father-in-law John T. and Elizabeth Hageman; sisters-in-law: Agnes Bottema, Rita Menne, Ida Hageman, and Diane Hageman; and brothers-in-law: Joe Menne, Theodore Hageman, Leo Hageman, and Richard Matter.

Honorary urnbearers are Sharon’s grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and nephew Lincoln Matter.

Online condolences may be left at

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