Einar was born on a farm in North Dakota to Anders and Clara Mohagen on July 26, 1918. He graduated from Minot High School in 1936. He attended the local college for 2 years, then a semester at the University of Michigan. Three of Einar’s best high school friends were a year older than he and had gone onto Michigan. Their encouragement and an offer to share housing made that possible. Housing was a bunk in the basement of a funeral home-for helping with ambulance and body pickups. A short hourly job in an off-campus restaurant provided the food. There were no student loans available in those years so he was unable to return in the fall.
Einar took a job with the Great Northern Railroad until he had earned a free pass to L.A. where he worked for Lockheed Aircraft until the draft encouraged him to return to North Dakota for a visit to see family before joining the service. Running into a friend settled the decision. His advice: “Join the Navy, you’ll always have a clean bed to crawl into, not a foxhole!” After nearly 4 years in the Navy, he was discharged in California, as his parents had moved to Lake Elsinore. He spent 1½ years on Kodiak Island, Alaska. He had no shipboard duty during this time but became a Pharmacist’s Mate First class V-6 .
Under the GI Bill, a new course in Dental Technician work was just starting at the U. of California at Los Angeles under their downtown Extension Program. After completing that course, he was invited to become an assistant instructor for the next classes that followed. It was during this time that he married, Phillis Irene Connell. They lived in Whittier, Calif., purchasing an 836 sq. ft house for $8,225.00. Einar commuted to L.A. and later worked for a dentist in Montebello. A fellow student from that first technicians course invited him, along with Dr. Willis Wester, to move to Oregon. He first settled in Hood River and finally residing with their son, Keller L. Mohagen, in The Dalles to set up Mohagen Dental Laboratory in his home at 1317 East 16th Street. They attended the Presbyterian church in the earlier years, were involved with Community Concert, and Friends of the Gorge. He also was a member of the Alpinees of Hood River and helped in the search of a lost girl near Salmon River forest camp in 1954.
At 97, he has seen so many changes: radio, TV, cells phones, space travel, wars, stood near or shook hands of 5 presidents, had Babe Ruth sign his graduation envelope while traveling through North Dakota via train to a baseball game and he experienced Franklin D. Roosevelt being lifted from a train during one of his campaigns and placed into a vehicle due to Polio. Einar was happy to boast he had traveled in all 50 states of the United Sates, as well as, Mexico, Europe, China, Russia, and 4 trips to Norway to see family. He’s traveled by horse and buggy, railroad carts, trains, cars, cruises and airplanes.
Einar is survived by his sister, Ruth Schuld (Portland), son Keller L. Mohagen (Hood River), daughter Randi I. Abblitt, son-in-law James B. Ablitt, (Tigard), and 3 grandchildren: Bryon (26), Reid (22), and Audrey (19). A private family/friend celebration will take place at a later date in Tigard. The Mohagen and Abblitt families send our heartfelt “Thank-You” to all of you who have been a part of Einar’s life and thus our families.
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