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Obituary: David Pagel

Dave returned to his heavenly home on June 21, 2022.

Dave was born to Clarence and Mertie (Gillis) Pagel of Brillion on September 23, 1932. This gift from God was given a double share of love, generosity and integrity which endeared him to everyone who came to know him. The Pagel family grew with the addition of another son (Paul Pagel) and a daughter (Marie Pagel Schneider Harris Cooper). Dave cherished his family.

The young Mr. Pagel grew into an intelligent and talented young man. He participated in High School sports, played in the band and excelled in class work.

After graduation from Brillion High School, David enrolled in Michigan Tech where he earned his Chemical Engineering Degree.

In 1954, Dave married Joyce Dexheimer. Joyce and David moved to Green Bay after his graduation and both started careers at Fort Howard Paper Company. In 1957, He took a short term leave from Fort Howard to serve 6 months in the US Army Reserves. Dave’s talent was obvious to the leadership team and he was promoted to a position leading the company’s efforts to improve environmental protection. Dave led projects that implemented state of the art protection of air, water and solid waste management. Dave retired in 1988 having made significant improvements to the community in which we live.

Dave also had a love for Little Sturgeon Bay in Door County. He started visiting the area in 1947 and the lake was his refuge. In 1976, Dave bought property on the lake and built the home in which he lived the rest of his life. Dave opened his home and cottages on the property to his family and friends. His home became the heart of the family; hosting weddings, baptisms and being the gathering place for those who loved him dearly.

Dave has been an active member of First United Church of Christ for over 55 years. He shared his beautiful singing voice as a member of the choir for 50 years and served various positions in the local church. His service extended to the Northeast Association and the Wisconsin Conference of the Church. Dave’s love for people led him on missions trips to various disaster sites, including Biloxi, MS following Katrina.

Dave’s deep love for his wife, Joyce has lasted forever. Unfortunately, the marriage would not last. They divorced in 1996 and remained close until Joyce’s death.

Dave developed a loving relationship with Betty Strong. Betty became Dave’s constant companion for many years until her passing in 2013.

In 2015, Dave was blessed to meet Shirley Paradise. Dave and Shirley shared life’s ups and downs for the last seven years of his life.

Dave’s love has been the rock foundation of the family. He has long been known as ‘Uncle Dave’, not only to his nieces and nephews, but to all who knew him. His compassion and love made everyone family.

Awaiting Dave in heaven were his father and mother; brother, Paul; sister, Marie; and beloved nephew, David Schneider. Left to remember and celebrate his life are his friend Shirley; nieces, nephews, cousins, their extended families and many friends.

A visitation will be held on Saturday, August 13, 2022, at the First United Church of Christ, 509 S. Webster Ave., from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. Celebration of Life will take place at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, August 13, 2022, with Pastor Adam Westrich officiating. Online condolences may be expressed at

In lieu of flowers, please make gifts to First United Church of Christ.


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