John Ward Hager

September 17, 1933January 8, 2023
Obituary of John Ward Hager


Cotten Funeral Home

John Ward Hager, 89, of New Bern, North Carolina passed away on January 8, 2023. He was born in Leominster, Massachusetts on September 17, 1933 to Harry William Hager and Clara Hills Healey Hager. John graduated from Colby College, where he earned a degree in Geology. After serving as a radio repair technician in the Army, John began a 40-year career as a geodesist for the Defense Mapping Agency near Washington, DC. John was active in the Boy Scouts, both as a scout and then as a Troop Leader for his sons. He loved outdoor activities that included hiking, camping, and canoeing. John liked the challenge of repairing anything that was broken. He would He enjoyed tinkering about in his workshop and became an avid collector of antique hand tools. He was a skilled sewer, making his daughter a full-length goose down coat among other things. He caught the travel bug from his spouse, and has travelled around the world on ocean cruises, small boat excursions, and more recently crisscrossing the U.S. on various trains. John spent volunteer time at church running the sound board and teaching the youth how to do the same. He also ran the lighting for shows all around town - from plays in the schools to the local playhouse. Working on genealogy consumed his spare time, as he was frequently chasing down each clue. He enjoyed a good dram of single malt whiskey and even more so with friends and family. He is survived by his loving wife Jackie, and his children Heather (Don) and Ross (Tara), and grandsons Thomas Z, Andrew, Thomas H, William, and Patrick. He is predeceased by his first wife Rita, son Rusty, and sister Betty. In lieu of flowers, donations can be directed to Christ Episcopal Church, New Bern, NC. A Celebration of Life Service will be held on February 18 at 10:00 a.m. at Christ Episcopal Church of New Bern 320 Pollock Street, New Bern, NC 28560. Interment will follow in the church cemetery. Online condolences can be made to

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Past Services

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Celebration of Life