Jan. 10, 1922-Jan. 26, 2019

Howard Whitmore Fager passed away peacefully, soon after his 97th birthday on Saturday, Jan. 26. He lived a gentle, peaceful, loving life and died as he lived, with a gentle smile on his face. 

Howard was born in Chicago in 1922. He attended Northwestern University as a premed student, which was interrupted when he left to serve as an army corpsman (medic) in World War II. Upon his return to Northwestern he decided he instead wanted to become a teacher and changed his focus to education. He met his wife-to-be, Alice (Nagy) Fager, at Northwestern, and they married in Chicago in September 1947. Howard and Alice went on to raise two children, Susan and Scott, in Winnetka, Ill. 

In his 30-year teaching career, Howard taught and touched the lives of hundreds of children. His curious nature, good humor, and quiet wisdom created countless positive ripples. Howard led by example and made every person he met feel seen and cared for. 

Howard’s love of music led him to sing in many places including numerous church choirs. In their time on the island of St. Croix in the Virgin Islands, he got involved in amateur theater, performing in many musical comedies, such as his favorite, “Guys and Dolls.” Howard loved to make people smile and laugh. After spending many summers in Minocqua, Alice and Howie built their retirement home there on Marion Lake. They lived there for many years and were active members of the Church of the Pines. Howard took great joy in singing and performing with the Lakeland Barbershop Chorus. At the lake, he loved his dogs, taking walks, playing pinochle and gin rummy, and writing poetry.

Howard was loved and will be missed by many. In addition to Alice, who now resides in Tomahawk at Tomahawk Health Services, he is survived by his son Scott Fager of Bisbee, Ariz.; his grandson David Desch and great-grandchildren Kody and Molly of Evergreen, Colo.; his brother- and sister-in-law Al and Kathy Nagy of Minocqua and Manzanillo, Mexico; and many nieces and nephews including Jean (Fager) Griffin, Howard Fager, Phillip Jacklin, Beth, Burke, Lucas and Annika Nagy. His daughter Susan Fager predeceases him. The family is planning a memorial in Minocqua for the summer of 2019.

Bolger Funeral and Cremation Services is assisting the family, 715-356-3200 or visit www.bolgerfuneral.com to share condolences.