Former Superior Mayor Hagen Dies

Updated: July 26, 2019 06:23 PM

Bruce Hagen, a former longtime mayor of Superior and chief of staff for former Gov. Tommy Thompson, has died in Florida.


A family member told WDIO News that Hagen passed away on Thursday night.  He had been planning to return to Superior for the summer but was unable to come due to health reasons.

Hagen first served as mayor from 1975 to 1987.  After working for the state, he was again elected mayor in 2011 and was re-elected in 2015.  He stepped down as mayor when he was 70 in April 2017, citing health reasons and a desire for privacy.

Rani Gill, who served as Hagen's Chief of Staff and continues to work under Mayor Jim Paine, said it is a sad day at City Hall. 

"He was a true gentleman and a great mayor," Gill said. "I feel very honored to have served under his leadership." 

Hagen was the catalyst behind the recently completed Belknap Street reconstruction. 

Rep. Nick Milroy (D-South Range) offered his condolences. 

"Mayor Hagen was a man that loved his community, and was a committed public servant," Milroy wrote in a statement. "Today is a sad day for all the citizens that benefitted from his service as mayor."

The Wisconsin Blue Book lists Hagen as Gov. Thompson's chief of staff in 1987.  He then worked in the Department of Workforce Development in the 1990's and early 2000's in roles including unemployment compensation division administrator and deputy secretary.

Plans for a service are not yet set, but a family member said the service may be next month.

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