Vincent Gerald Haugen passed away peacefully on March 13 surrounded by family at Eventide Moorhead’s Transitional Care Unit.
Vince was born on June 12, 1935 at his grandparents’ home in Winnipeg Junction, MN to Olaf and Myrtle (Sandeen) Haugen. He grew up on the family farm south of Lake Park, milking cows, doing chores and trapping gophers to sell pelts for spending money. After six years at a country school in Cormorant Township, Vince went to Lake Park High School, where he played 9-man football and ran track. He even earned the lead in the school play, Clementine. The other lead was a stunning girl named Shirley Ernst and Vince fell in love.
As he neared graduation, the school principal convinced Vince to attend Moorhead State Teachers College to get a degree to become an educator and coach. But he made such a good living at Twin City Construction in Fargo, earning $1.65 an hour, Vince never reported to college. Meanwhile, Shirley Ernst got a job at the telephone company in Fargo and their courtship became quite serious. Vince and Shirley were engaged in June 1955 and married Sept. 16 at Lake Park Lutheran Church. Their unconditional love endured for seven decades and produced four children, Dean (1956), Diane (1958), Darla (1964) and Darin (1969), nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
In 1957, Vince and his friend Grant Haug formed Haug and Haugen Construction, a concrete and masonry company. They amicably split in 1960 and Vince founded Haugen Masonry. Over the course of 38 years, he built much of Fargo-Moorhead brick by brick. Initially he focused on homes - fireplaces and facades. Later, he did primarily commercial work, doing the masonry on dozens of churches, banks, public buildings and schools. Haugen Masonry built much of Concordia College, where Vince was a C-400 member, including the favorite project of his career, the iconic Bell Tower. The company also built the Fargodome and Newman Outdoor Field, among many other major projects. In 1998, Vince began the process of retirement, selling the company to his son Dean, who operated it until 2021.
Vince wasn’t just a masonry subcontractor; he was an ambitious, prolific businessman, starting Motel 75, Shop-N-Run, the local Rax restaurant franchises and various apartment and real estate pursuits. He served for many years on the board of the State Bank of Moorhead.
Vince was a man of strong faith - an active member of The Lutheran Church of Christ the King in Moorhead for more than 60 years.
For much of his life, Vince loved to hunt and fish. In his 60s, he took up golfing and recorded two holes-in-one. Sports, especially football, were a passion; he was a Spud Booster and lifelong member of the Moorhead Athletic Association.
Vince and Shirley built their first lake home in 1964 next to friends on Upper Cormorant Lake. They built a new home in 1989 on Floyd Lake, their primary residence until 2008, when they moved to a condo along the Moorhead Country Club. They also spent more than 25 winters in Arizona and, in retirement, traveled extensively, from Alaska to Norway to Panama.
Vince is survived by his wife, Shirley (Ernst) Haugen; sister Janice Felker, Audubon, MN; children, Dean (Pat) Haugen, Audubon, Darla (Bill) Krause, Roswell, GA, Darin (Lori) Haugen, Fairmont, MN; grandchildren Bryce Haugen, Paul (Ashley) Haugen, Andrea (Cooper) Wilson, Kayla Krause, Bryan (Jane) Krause, Emily Haugen, Olivia Haugen, Andrew Haugen, Audrey Haugen; and great-grandchildren Henry and Elijah Haugen, and Chase and Madelyn Wilson.
He was preceded in death by his parents Olaf and Myrtle Haugen; daughter Diane Haugen; and his brother Arlen Haugen.
Memorials to Eventide Transitional Care Unit or Moorhead Legacy Education Foundation.
Visitation will be on Thursday, March 23 at Wright Funeral Home in Moorhead from 5 to 7 p.m. with a prayer service at 6:30 p.m. The funeral will be at The Lutheran Church of Christ the King in Moorhead at 11 a.m. Friday, March 24. Burial will be at Prairie Home Cemetery in Moorhead following the funeral reception.