Lt. Colonel David Edward Hagler, U.S. Army retired, made his final departure at 12:02 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, 2019.
He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Jacquelin Bartlett Hagler, of the home; four caring daughters and their families, Cynthia Antonopoulos, and husband, Jimmy, of Matthews, Darlene Hagler, of Little Switzerland, Laurie Manning, and husband, Richard, of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and Melanie Hagler Blount, and husband, Steve, of Spencer; four grandchildren, Kyle, Kaitlyn and Kelly Manning, and Alexis Antonopoulos; sisters, Frances Mullis and Jenny Mullis; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, D. Frank and Leona Long Hagler; brother, Alfred John; and sister, Mary Ellen Hagler Dimiceli.
Col. Hagler was born in 1933 on a farm near Mint Hill (now Ashe Plantation), the son of D. Frank and Leona Long Hagler. He was in the first class to graduate from East Mecklenburg High School. He attended NC State University in Raleigh and graduated from Troy State University in Alabama with a master’s degree in education. In 1956, he married the former Jacquelin Bartlett, of Mint Hill.
Col. Hagler joined the U.S. Army after graduating from high school. Following more than 20 years of active military service, Col. Hagler retired as a highly decorated combat veteran. His decorations included the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, numerous Air Medals and the Vietnam Honor Medal. He was a Senior Army Aviator qualified in airplanes and helicopters with more than a thousand hours of combat flying time. He completed a tour of duty in Germany with the 8th and 10th Infantry Divisions and two tours of duty in Vietnam, first as an aviation advisor in 1962, and in 1967 he commanded the 190th Assault Helicopter Company from activation at Ft. Cambell, Kentucky, into Vietnam. In 1968 he became Operations Officer of the 145th Combat Aviation Battalion, which included the 190th, and five other helicopter companies. Other noteworthy assignments included pioneer testing of armed helicopters at Ft. Stewart, Georgia, and extensive involvement in helicopter training at Ft. Rucker, Alabama.
Following his retirement from military service, he became a teacher in the public school system in Enterprise, Alabama, where he and his family resided for many years. He was an assistant principal at Coppinville Junior High School and later at Enterprise High School. He was President of the Enterprise Lions Club and Enterprise Education Association. He also served in various community activities and was Youth Leader, Deacon and Elder at Greenhill Presbyterian Church.
After retirement from the public school system, he and wife, Jacquelin, returned to Mint Hill and their mountain home in Little Switzerland, and traveled extensively in the United States and abroad.
A visitation with the family was 1:30-3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, at McEwen Funeral Service-Mint Hill Chapel, 7428 Matthews-Mint Hill Road in Mint Hill. A service to celebrate the life of Col. Hagler followed in the funeral home chapel.
Condolences may be offered at www.mcewenminthillchapel.com.
Mitchell News-Journal • March 6, 2019