John H. Dagenais
ESCANABA — John H. Dagenais was ushered with prayer to his forever home on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, cared for and surrounded by family and close friends at Bishop Noa Home in Escanaba following a long, courageous battle with cancer. John lived his life of service to others. He served our country with pride in the U.S. Air Force, and during that time he met and married his wife of 51 years, Sandra, and they raised two sons in Escanaba.
John, known as Nonnie by his friends, started his lifelong working career as a young paperboy in “Norttown” where he attended Webster School. During his high school years, he worked at Elmers. Following graduation from EAHS he immediately served four years in the USAF, three in Rome, N.Y. and one in Shemya, Ala. A few years ago he completed his lifelong dream taking Sandra to Alaska to witness its majestic beauty. He graduated Career Academy Broadcasting of Milwaukee, Wis., and worked at WLST radio of Escanaba as an announcer/salesman. He joined the cable industry in 1969 and worked there through many owners until his retirement in 2000 when Charter bought Bresnan Communications. He began his career as a lineman/installer to program manager of local origination through Bresnan fiber optics, local manager to district manager and then after several years of regional vice president, he retired to play golf. They traveled and enjoyed retirement for 18 years.
Dagenais and team were first in Michigan to launch two-way cable modem services over cable TV via hybrid-fiber coax. He orchestrated and oversaw the launch, deployment, management, and maintenance of a commercial state-of-the-art fiber optic and cable modem network across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula connecting cities, businesses, schools, libraries, government, and non-profit organizations and provided digital CATV service.
This technology allowed the Daily Press and Iron Mountain News to transmit to their printing facilities with high speed, which increased customer service and efficiencies while saving multiple man hours driving the mechanicals to these facilities.
During the 32 years in cable he served on board of directors member of Michigan Cable Association. He also was a member of Escanaba Country Club board of directors, Elks Leading Knight, Escanaba Rotary, Amvets Post, Wildlife and Whitetails. He was a proud lifetime member of Elks and Amvets Clubs. Until he was over age limit, he was an active member of Jaycees. He was a member of Optimists and Delta County Ambassadors and he was a member of St. Joseph and St. Patrick’s Church.
John is preceded in death by his parents, John and Lillian; and his beloved stepmother, Agnes, who was a wonderful mother from age 8. He is also preceded by brother, Don, and his sisters, Doris and Elizabeth.
Most assuredly, John leaves a legacy of love for his family. His loving wife of 51 years, Sandra of Escanaba; Todd (Katie) and their children, Jocie and Luc of Orlando, Fla., and Brad (Sheryl) and their children, Nicholas, Kenadie, and Teigan of Escanaba. He also leaves his brother, Rick (Sandi) of Escanaba; sisters, Joyce of Palm Coast, Florida, Beverly and Katherine (Syl) of Milwaukee; sister-in-law, Ginny of Wichita, Kansas, and several nieces and nephews. Of course it goes without saying his dog, Dutchess. He referred to her as his beloved bed buddy, she followed him around and laid by his side, in his chair, or on his bed. She always knew when he was having a bad day.
He frequently commented “don’t try to name my special friends as you will miss one for sure.” So special friends, you know who you are and how special you are. God put each friend in our life for a special reason and as the 51 years went by we found out why.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the John H. Dagenais Memorial Fund at the Northern United Federal Credit Union, 123 South Lincoln Road, Escanaba, Michigan. These funds will be distributed to well deserving charities in the Escanaba area in his memory.
Expressions of sympathy may be sent to Sandra Dagenais, 1628 16th Avenue South, Escanaba, MI 49829.
Services will be held at the convenience of the family.
The Crawford Funeral Homes are assisting the Dagenais family.