To Robb and Courtney Hagen, passing on their faith by providing a Catholic, Christ-centered education for their four children was a blessing that they deeply treasured.
After Courtney passed away from cancer on November 5, 2015, an anonymous donor chose to honor her belief in Catholic education and her courageous battle with the disease by establishing a scholarship in her memory. The Courtney Hagen Memorial Scholarship Fund will be awarded to a child of a person suffering from cancer or has passed away due to cancer.
Catholic education set the foundation for Courtney’s faith formation. During her time at Cedar Catholic High School she met a lifetime friend and religious mentor, Monsignor Cyril Werner. Msgr. Werner had a dramatic impact on Courtney’s faith and her positive outlook on life. He would always close their conversations with “God is good.” Those who knew Courtney remember her often repeating those very words.
Courtney Marie (Heimes) Hagen was born May 15, 1974, to Allen and Cindy (Miller) Heimes. She graduated from Cedar Catholic High School in Hartington, Neb., in 1992. She attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s College of Dentistry, graduating in 1996 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Dental Hygiene.
Courtney married Robb Hagen on October 12, 1996, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Hartington. They had four children, Brynn (1999), Ella (2001), Avery (2006), and Willem (2007). Courtney referred to her children as ‘her babies.’ They are a reflection of her.
She demonstrated her love and passion for people during her 19 year career as a dental hygienist. Courtney genuinely cared for her patients’ dental health, but also cared deeply for them on a personal level. Her prayer list was filled with the names of patients, along with many family and friends who needed prayers.
Courtney’s faith truly shined when she was diagnosed with spinal cancer in June 2014. After surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, the cancer was contained until new growths were discovered in June 2015. Courtney restarted treatment, but the cancer spread to her brain.
In times of struggle, especially during her cancer battle, Courtney lived her life as a testament to Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Courtney’s incredible courage, radiant spirit, and faith in God never wavered; she considered each and every day a blessing.
“The support and prayers that we received during her battle was overwhelming,” Robb reflects. “From the candlelight rosary, to the endless support of the Pius X staff, it’s proof that all involved with Pius X are family.”
“We are honored that a scholarship has been created in her memory,” Robb shares. “Courtney touched so many people through her volunteer work, through her job, through her friendships, and through her faith. She often said she was a servant, not a leader.”
Her love of the Catholic faith motivated Courtney to be a lector, be involved in parish life, and volunteer at St. Peter’s school and Pius X. Courtney indeed led by example through her dedicated service to others. “She never wanted, or even liked, recognition for any of the volunteer work she did; she simply did it because it was for the good of others.” Robb recalls.
Courtney’s legacy will live on through the lives she touched, especially her family, friends, and those in her community that she so cherished. “Her uplifting attitude was evident through her contagious smile and warm spirit. Courtney simply loved life,” Robb reflects, adding that “her spirit lives on in her children and the many lives she touched.”
While her family and friends feel the loss of her physical presence, they pray that this scholarship will inspire others to wear a smile, be positive, and lead as a servant of Christ, just as Courtney did.
“Courtney would say that she has been blessed by many and to have this scholarship created in her name is a true honor,” Robb expresses. “Courtney often said, ‘You can put a price on a Catholic education, but the value is priceless’.”
Despite the hardship from his personal loss of a loving wife and mother, Robb offers these words of comfort and hope: “God is good.