Obituary of David Jon ‘Pug’ Fagerlee



Fagerlee, David Jon “Pug” December 17, 1940 – December 15, 2021 On December 15, the world lost an incredible man. In the words of her granddaughter, Brittney, “You can’t go wrong with a life well lived.” David was born and raised in northeast Minneapolis in Kenneth and Joyce Fagerlee. He grew up with his siblings Dennis, Richard, Thomas and Mary on Polk Street and for a man who has traveled the world his heart has remained rooted in the NE. David spent his early years as an altar boy, skiing for his high school team, spending time with friends, and doing odd jobs. He cherished his siblings and always wanted the best for them. David graduated from Edison High School in 1958. One of his first jobs was working for Stillman’s Grocery, which was the start of a long-standing partnership. David enlisted in the military with a friend and spent six months in basic training followed by inactive service. David and Jean Irwin married in 1961. They lived in northeast Minneapolis until 1964. Their family grew in size and love with the addition of Elizabeth “Betsy”, David and Sarah. The family moved to Milwaukee so David could work with Flower City by opening and operating new stores. Her career with Flower City eventually saw the family return home to Minneapolis in 1975. In 1984 David started an import company Seasonal Specialties, which was his proudest business achievement. The nearly 100 members of the Seasonal team were David’s second family and he cared deeply for each of them. He never accepted that something couldn’t be done or that it couldn’t be done better, and he instilled this philosophy into the culture of the company. He had immense respect for the people he worked with across Asia and he naturally immersed himself in their culture. David has been active in the business until his last days and his spirit and passion will live on. David and Vicki Moore Horton married in 1983. They loved spending time in the cabin they built in northern Minnesota, watching their grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow up and visiting dear friends in Florida. Guardian of his ideas, David had big dreams and those dreams turned into big achievements. He was intuitive, decisive, risk-taker and very creative. He was proud of his business and his charitable work. Both were built on the premise that an inspired team was imperative, that details mattered, quality reigns supreme, and that creating the best is more important than being the greatest. Ethics governed all its decisions and relationships. His visions were bold and he was determined to see his ideas come to fruition. At 70, he had the vocation to go to a country he had never visited in order to help people he did not know in a culture he had never known. David was incredibly proud of the school he supported and the medical clinic (David Fagerlee Medical Center) he established in Adilang, Uganda. He often said he felt at home in Uganda. His faith both challenged and guided him. It was the catalyst for self-reflection and the foundation of his beliefs. He was extremely generous and humble. He was generous, kind, empathetic and compassionate. He gently noted in the conversation that everyone was valuable and should be treated with care, respect and dignity. Our goal was to give back to the world, to seek the best in others, to take care of each other and to always lend a helping hand. David was admirable. Like all challenges he has faced, he faced cancer with courage. His determination ran deep and he tried to stay positive. He was strong and determined to beat him because, as he said, “I have work to do”. And this work was helping others. David’s friendships were deep, lasting, and incredibly loyal. He often spoke of his friends and with great admiration because they gave a lot of meaning to his life. His family was just as important to David. Her endless desire and work to make sure her family was well supported and cared for was unwavering. David liked to laugh, contemplate the affairs of the world, strike up a good conversation and, on occasion, lead a booming session of his favorite songs. He also loved flowers, animals, babies, and a midnight peanut butter or sour cream sandwich. David was very observant and very aware of what made each of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren unique and he valued their individual personality traits. David was proud of his family and his family couldn’t be prouder of him. We will miss him. We were honored to love him and to be loved by him. You can’t go wrong with a life well lived. David was predeceased by his parents, Kenny and Joyce; brother, Richard (Dick); and nephew Michel. Survived by his wife, Vicki; daughter Betsy Fagerlee; son David Fagerlee (Dawn); daughter Sarah Goudelock (Kyle); her stepdaughter Mary Horton and her stepson Jim Horton (Kim); grandchildren: Katie (Mike), Alex (Joe), Brittney, Bailey (Ryan), Annie (Eric), Beau, Bella, Grace, Eric (Claire), Zach, Taylor (Tyler), Jake (Taylor), Luke ; great-grandchildren: Alex, Kaiden, Remy, Marlow, Oliver, Brecken; siblings: Denny (Patti), Tommy and Mary; and several nieces and nephews. The Celebration of Life will take place on February 4, 2022 at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 1621 University Ave. NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413. Tours 10:00 am to 11:00 am, service at 11:00 am. The service will also be available via livestream. Details to follow. Please join us after service at Jax Cafe, 1928 University Ave. NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418, where we will gather to eat and drink and to share memories. In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to the David Fagerlee Medical Center. Donations can be made by visiting the site:

Posted on December 26, 2021

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