Aaron V. Fagan

  • Born: August 3, 1949
  • Died: October 27, 2017
  • Location: Dubuque, Iowa

Behr's Funeral Home

1491 Main Street
(563) 582-3297
Dubuque, IA 52001

Tel. (563) 582-3297

Tribute & Message From The Family

Aaron V. Fagan, age 68, of Dubuque, was called home suddenly, after a long battle with cancer, at 1:28 p.m., on Friday, October 27, 2017, at home, with his loving daughter Kelly by his side. To honor Aaron's life, funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m., on Thursday, November 2, 2017, at Holy Ghost Church, 2921 Central Avenue, with Rev. Dwayne J. Thoman officiating. To celebrate Aaron's life, family and friends may visit from 2:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., on Wednesday, November 1, 2017, at Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street. Burial will be in Mt. Calvary Cemetery.

Aaron was born on August 3, 1949, in Dubuque, Iowa, son of Earl and Rosemary (Wolter) Fagan.

Aaron was born and raised in Dubuque, receiving his education at Dubuque Senior High School, and eventually meeting his future bride to be, Francine Ruh. The loving couple were united in marriage on April 7, 1973, in Dubuque. They would go on to celebrate over 44 devoted years together, and were truly blessed with 4 wonderful children. Aaron would earnestly provide for his family by working at the Dubuque Packing Company until 1982, and later by investing over 30 years of his time and talents at his business, Fagan's Shoe Repair, Video Rental and Hobby Shop. He has directly contributed to the comfort of numerous adult's feet in the Tri-States, as well as creating countless childhood memories for the youth in the area. Aaron's tireless ambition to provide not only his best, but absolute perfection, in everything he did is not only a true testament to his character and business mind-set, but also to his entire life perspective. In his free-time, Aaron was quite comfortable spending a day hunting in the timber, or sitting on the lakes in northern Wisconsin with a freshly baited hook in hand. Aaron also found infinite joy when he was surrounded by family on Christmas Day and the 4th of July, working on his latest Make-A-Wish, Children's Miracle Network and Albrecht Acres projects, or simply sharing his talents, wisdom or humble gifts of compassion for others in any number of fashions. If Aaron wanted to leave this world with an absolute statement to be proclaimed, it would be that next to faith playing an important role in our lives, following in a very close second is, "Love Your Family". Aaron's family, especially his deeply adored grandchildren, were absolutely a primary motivation in his world. It is virtually impossible to accurately articulate into words the absolute love, respect and adoration Aaron carried in his heart for his grandchildren. His actions to provide for, love, nurture and adore his family were continually on display, and the memories, lessons and legacy he leaves behind will surely help heal the hearts whom find themselves completely broken today with Aaron's sudden absence from their lives. We have undeniably lost one of the "good ones', and the world will never be the same for many; but we are also thankful that the world was never going to be the same in many other positive ways simply because the Lord was kind enough to share Aaron with us for 68 years. Thank you Aaron for all of the love you shared with the world, for playing the role of World's Greatest Grandpa without hesitation, and rest assured that "this left-handed cobbler who was just trying to make a difference" has definitely completed his mission and we'll treasure every memory until we meet again!

Those left to cherish Aaron's memory include

his loving wife of 44 years,
Fran Fagan, Dubuque, IA;

his 4 children,
Kelly Fagan, Dubuque, IA,
Dan (Amy) Fagan, Norwalk, IA,
Katie (Rob) Schmitt, Sherrill, IA
and Sarah (Adam) Banwarth, Richmond, VA;

his 8 grandchildren,
Brody Schmitt, Abigail Schmitt, Lucy Schmitt, Allie Schmitt, Noah Fagan, Brynn Fagan, Caleb Banwarth and Evelyn Banwarth;

his brother,
David (Jill) Fagan, St. Paul, MN;

his niece and Godchild,
Molly Fagan, St. Paul, MN;

and many aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, nieces, nephews and friends.

Aaron was preceded in death by his parents.

An Aaron V. Fagan memorial fund has been established, which will be distributed among his favorite charities.

Aaron's family would like to thank the nurses and staff at Medical Associates Oncology, and the University of Madison, for all of their professional care and concern for Aaron, and his family.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Condolences and prayers for Aaron, Fran and the family in his honor.
Fr. Paul Otting

Posted by Fr. Paul Otting - Dubuque, IA - Acquaintance   November 02, 2017


a lone time customer. Mr. Fagan Help me with a lot of projects that I brought in
He would see me coming and ask what have I broke now. He fix a lot of purses and shoes. I could give him anything and he would make it work. He worked on a pair of boots for me for about a year. When I got them back they were like new.
I would like for his family to know that I too will miss him.

Shirlee Bolds and Family

Posted by shirlee bolds - dubuque, IA - Friend   November 01, 2017

Hello may I first extend my condolences. I also wanted to say thank you. I met Aaron at the casino he was so much fun to talk to and very kind to me. Im the person who Aaron had over in his garage to plane and drum sand some live edge cedar wood. I enjoyed sharing woodworking ideas and I received alot of tips from Aaron. I'm diabetic and an aspiring woodworker. It was so nice to learn how to use those tools that I didn't have it was awesome. I'm so greatful for the limited time I had shared with Aaron. I will still continue to learn the craft that Aaron was so skilled in. Thank you so very much for your kindness. I have recently found out my mother of 56 has lung cancer and also my grandpa. It's been a devastating couple of weeks. Please forgive me for not being at the service as my work schedule wouldn't allow it. My very best wishes to all of you and I'm so greatful to have known Aaron for the short time that I did. Thank you. Sincerely Larry Maples

Posted by Larry Maples - Dubuque, IA - Friend   November 01, 2017

Aaron worked on my shoes for many years putting on special soles from club feet, a birth defect. He was always friendly, courteous and as a priest he'd shared his concerns and ask that I remember him in my Masses which I did on a regular basis. Cobblers are a dying breed and Aaron was the best. We shared the same birth date but I was 10 years older than he. I will miss him and his work. We connected when I was an associate pastor at Holy Ghost Church from 1978 - 80. My sympathy to his wife and family. Promise of prayers for him.

Posted by Paul McManus - Winthrop, Iowa, IA - Acquaintance   November 01, 2017

Fagan families,I was shocked to hear if Aaron's passing..he was one of those people that no one ever said anything bad about,I hope it comforts you know that he has gone to a far better place and is surrounded by loved ones,God bless the family during the difficult days ahead.

Posted by Mark McDonald - Dubuque, IA - Friend   November 01, 2017

Please accept our sympathy in the passing of Aaron. We dealt with Aaron numerous times in his business-good guy. He has touched many lives in a positive caring way. Sending you healing prayers and peaceful thoughts knowing he was a good soul that cared about many.

Posted by Peggy Schroeder & Family - Waterloo, IA - Friend   October 31, 2017

So long Buddy, we'll miss your kind heart, that you worked so hard to hide. You'll be missed.r

Posted by Old Harley rider    October 31, 2017

Our sympathies go out to you whole family....Aaron will be truly missed-He was "true blue," honest, hard working, and most of all kindhearted. I will miss his bantering-When I came into the shop he would say, "Not you again." I would answer, "Yeah, and I brought ya a pair of boots, pretty bad and ya probably can't fix them." He would then insist to see and was always up for the challenge...Aaron ALWAYS went that extra mile for his customers-giving so much of himself. A beautiful soul.....A beautiful soul....

Posted by Robin Kennnicker - sherrill, IA - friend   October 31, 2017

Fran and family,
So sorry for your loss, Aaron was a wonderful person and will be missed by many. I remember him first from the Derby gas station at the five points of Rhomberg Ave, he was a handsome young lad, always helpful. Was so happy for him when he was able to realize his dream of his own business, having since become a Dubuque Legend, may he RIP.

Posted by Dino Welbes - Dubuque, IA - Friend   October 31, 2017

My sympathy to Fran and the family. Jack and I were grateful we got to know Aaron thru all of Aaron's fund raising efforts. God be with the Fagan family.

Posted by Mrs. Jack (Sue) Mohr - Center point, IA - Friend   October 31, 2017

I enjoyed every opportunity I had delivering shoes to or picking shoes up from your father. I tried several times to get him to sit for an interview, but he waved it off. I hope I've captured his spirit in his entry in http://www.encyclopediadubuque.org

Randy Lyon

Posted by Randy Lyon - Dubuque, IA - Friend   October 30, 2017

our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time

Posted by mike & robyn fagan - Dubuque, IA - Family   October 30, 2017

Fran, Kelly, Dan, Katie, Sarah, and family------We are SO very sorry for your loss. The obit is beautiful; it was Aaron!!!!! He had this "tough guy" attitude, but everyone knew he was "mush" inside. He gave his ALL to EVERYTHING he touched, everything he said, everyone he knew. He was the Big Bear guy you knew you could count on to be there for you. There are so many happy memories of him that make us smile---we will always think of him as a great friend, and he will be sadly missed. We, as all of us did, thought there was more time to do things, say things, visit and make more memories, just more time to be with him even though we also knew he had that terrible cancer in his body. This was best for him to--- less suffering, less chemo, less testing---but harder on those left behind. He battled to have more time with ALL of you: he had much more time than when he first found out about the cancer. That's because he fought so hard for ALL of you, and to "piss off more people", of coarse!!!! He loved all of you so very much, but you already know that! In some ways he won the cancer battle; since the end came too suddenly it wasn't cancer that took him, something else happened. The Lord blessed him!!!! Such a lucky man! And may God bless each of you and give you strength during this very sad time. We are here for you; please let us know how we can help.

Posted by Jack & Marilyn Hafeman - Dubuque, IA - Friend   October 30, 2017

My sincere sympathy to Fran and family

Posted by Dianne Hamilton....Buglasd - Argyle, WI - Coworker   October 29, 2017

So very sorry to hear about your loss. He will be missed by many.
Thinking of you.

Posted by Pat Wiezorek - Aurora, CO - Friend   October 29, 2017

I am so sorry for your great loss. I feel honored to know one of the greatest men I've ever had the privilege to meet. He was truly one of life's treasures. Always there in your time of need. Personally, he was there for both of my parents and myself, in our darkest hours. There are so many memories I have of both our families throughout the years. He will be remembered as one of the great one's to be admired in all he did and all he put into the lives be touched. There is so much respect I have for him. He was there with words of wisdom and advise at my greatest times of need. His guidance and encouragement helped me with his blunt honesty and truths. I looked to him as "a father figure of sorts"and appreciate all he was and gave. I am deeply saddened by his passing and forever grateful for all he was and did. He was a great man and will never be forgotten! I'm saddened by your loss and you will be in my prayers.

Posted by Terri Jo Mueller - Dubuque, IA - Family Friend   October 29, 2017

2nd cousin and one of my 1st landlords. Aaron would always let me know when the music got too loud in the apartment above the store by calling me and simply saying, "Elvis is still in the building!". :) If he took the time to walk up the steps to tell me, then I knew he was really mad.

Have some great memories living there and getting to know him in that 8 years. He took good care of me. He will be missed.

Posted by Jeremy Pollock - Dubuque, IA - Family   October 29, 2017

My heart goes out to you Fran, Kelly, Dan, Katie, Sarah and families. He we a beloved friend and will be missed dearly. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Posted by Jason Gantz - Dubuque, IA - Friend   October 29, 2017

Dan,Amy and family. Ire bbq e and I are so sorry for you loss. My your family find peace knowing that your father is resting in the arms of the Lord.

Posted by Dick &Irene Glade - Norwalk, IA - Friend   October 29, 2017

Aaron was a good friend. We had a lot of laughs in his shop.
I'll miss him

Posted by Alan Ford - Asbury - Friend   October 28, 2017