September 24, 1928 – February 21, 2017
Bazil J. O’Hagan, 88, a long-time resident of South Bend passed away at Andre House at Holy Cross Village. Bazil or Baz as he was known to all, was born in Detroit and grew up in Lake Orion, Michigan. He was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Mardy, who passed away in 2011, his parents Joseph P. and Katherine T. O’Hagan, and brothers Fr. James Paschal O’Hagan and Gerard O’Hagan. He is survived by his sister Rita Landis of Livonia, Michigan. Baz is survived by his six children: John O’Hagan of Valparaiso, IN, Molly Gantner (Mark) of Northfield, IL, Anne Roberts (Jeff) of Glen Ellyn, IL, Margaret McGill (Mark) of Western Springs, IL, Eileen Stotzer (Bill) of Elmhurst, IL and Katie Furry (Greg) of Granger, IN as well as 17 grandchildren: Karl, Phillip, Scott and Eric Gantner, Andrea, Mark and Brendan Roberts, Grace, Katherine, Elise and Gavin McGill, Michael, Maggie and Tom Stotzer, Daniel, Bazil and Charlie Furry.
Baz received a Technical Engineering degree from DeForest Technical School in Chicago in 1950, specializing in the construction and operations of television stations. He began his career at WJIM in Lansing, Michigan as a television station engineer, where he met his future bride, Margaret Mary Murphy (Mardy). In 1952, he constructed an early UHF station in Battle Creek, Michigan, and then built the first television station serving Springfield, Illinois, WICS. In 1956 he was named Chief Engineer at WNDU TV and moved with Mardy and his young family to the South Bend area. He enjoyed a 37 year career with WNDU and was named President and General Manager in 1980, until his retirement in 1993. One of his proudest achievements at WNDU was the formation of Golden Dome Productions, which offered a platform for creative productions, documentaries, and other cutting edge media. He was a pioneer in the field of cable TV and active in establishing national technical standards for the industry. He was a member of the NBC Affiliates Board and served in the Indiana Broadcasters Association. He earned his MBA from the University of Notre Dame in 1984, and proudly served as President of the first Executive MBA class at ND.
Baz was a dedicated community volunteer, acting as Board Chairman of Goodwill Industries and St. Joseph Care group, President of United Way and a member of the first Board of Holy Cross College. He developed a Freshman year algebra tutoring program at Holy Cross, to encourage students in math and sciences. He was President and board member of Rotary Club of South Bend. In his retirement years, he volunteered as a tour guide at the Basiica of the Sacred Heart for 11 years. He was the founding member of the PGL (Pathetic Golf League) aptly named for the older golfers who played a round and met for lunch weekly.
In addition to golf, he had many hobbies and interests, including: hockey as a boy, Morse Code and ham radios, motorcycle riding, playing piano and the fiddle, boating, and jogging. He and Mardy were avid Notre Dame fans and long time season ticket holders, and were devoted Cub fans for almost 70 years. His 80th birthday was celebrated at Wrigley Field with his entire family of 30 and he was thrilled to live to see the Cubs win the World Series Championship.
His faith was central in his life and he started each morning with daily prayers. His humility was reflected in his management philosophy. He believed in the importance of fostering independent thinking in his employees, his children, and his co-workers. He trusted in the capacity of people to succeed when given support and confidence, and he was optimistic that people were hardworking and filled with goodness. He was enormously grateful for his life that was filled with blessings, and was a devoted husband, father, and Papa. His intelligence, tremendous sense of humor and deep spirituality will be greatly missed but we will always celebrate his life well-lived and his beautiful soul. His kind demeanor and willingness to help others defined his life.
A mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for Baz on Monday at 9:30am at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, on the Notre Dame campus with Msgr. William Schooler, Pastor at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Granger, where Baz was a long time member. Burial will follow at Cedar Grove Cemetery. Visitation will be on Sunday from 3-7pm at the McGann Hay, Granger Chapel, 13260 SR 23, enter off Cherry Rd., where a parish vigil service will be held at 4pm.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Center for Hospice Care, 501 Comfort Place, Mishawaka, IN 46545 or to the South Bend Rotary Charitable Foundation, 108 W. Colfax Ave, South Bend, IN 46601..
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