Autobiography of

 Stevena Lea Hagens

 

 
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    In 1870, a young couple named Cornelius Hagen & Marie who lived in HOLLAND was seeing each other and wanted to get married, but the parents didn’t agree so the couple married anyway and had to leave the family. They found their self on a boat headed to America. They settled in Oskaloosa Iowa. While they were living in Iowa they had a son named Johnny Adrian Hagen. As time went by, jobs were hard to find in Iowa so the Hagen's moved to Nederland, TX where the work was booming, and settled in the Dutch community and started a milk dairy business. Cornelius also went to work for the carpenters union building oil refineries.

     Cornelius & Marie's son Johnny Hagen who also grew up in Nederland decided to change his last name to Hagens with a "S" he got the idea from the sign that was on the side of the "Hagens Milk Delivery"truck so from that time on he was none as Johnny Hagens.

     Now there was also another couple from Cuero, TX. named Elias & Saloma Wallace who married in 1868 they had 7 children, 5 girls ages 12, 11, 10, 7, and a older brother age 6 and  Martha was 4.  Martha's mother died at the 35 years old  2 days after the birth of the 7th child she died from delivery complications. Martha was raised by her 4 older sisters and older brother. They all had to help raise the newborn baby all while there father worked.

    Now Martha at age 22, married a local man name Bruce William Roan in 1904 and they lived in Cuero, TX. During this time they had three children. In 1906 they had a baby girl and they named her Teresa Eloise Roan. In 1915 they had a son who they named William Bruce Roan. After many discussions Bruce & Martha decided to have another child and 9 months later 7/7/1919 a beautiful baby girl was born and they named her Stevena Lea Roan. They were so excited. Stevena was a very sweet baby that hardly ever cried. She was a grinner and always laughing. They nicknamed her Runt because she was the smallest of the kids. She went to school in Cuero and was an excellent student. She also rode a horse to school. As time went by Stevena’s parents moved to Port Arthur, TX to find work.  Her dad went to work at an Oil Refinery and her mother turned their home into a boarding house.  During the summer, Stevena would go back to Cuero to stay with her aunts. As time went by she met Johnny Hagens. Johnny worked at the Texaco refinery. Stevena’s mother didn’t like Johnny, she called him a “flat headed Dutchman” so she would get the men that were renting rooms at the boarding house to run Johnny off, but Johnny and Stevena would still see each other behind their parents back. On December 7, 1935 Johnny & Stevena ran off to get married. They had a double wedding with her best friend.

    They then moved into her in parents’ home. Stevena’s mother closed down the boarding house so Stevena & Johnny would have a place to live. On September 1, 1937 they had a beautiful baby girl and they named her Sherry Ann Hagen's, and on August 4, 1942 they had a baby boy and they named him Cornelius (Neil) Johnny Hagens.

    As time went by Stevena's mother became sickly, Her Aunt "Teet" and Uncle “Dub B” came one day to the house and took Martha to the hospital and she passed shortly thereafter. Johnny and Stevena took care of mother until the day she died which was June 16, 1950. Stevena never got to say goodbye to her mother.

    As time went by Stevena & Johnny sold their mothers home and Johnny and his son Neil built a beautiful home next to the boarding house in 1956. We believe Johnny got pancreatic cancer when he was 47 years old in 1958. Sherry was 22 years old and Neil was 17 years old. Johnny could not work any longer and Stevena had never had a job so Stevena took care of Johnny for 14 years. They lived off Johnny’s disability checks. In 1968, the house burned down due to an electrical fire. Neil and Sherry’s husband, Bud, built the house back with Johnny’s supervision. Johnny and Stevena lived in a mobile home in the front yard until it was rebuilt. When Johnny passed on June 23, 1973 he was 62 years old. Stevena was only 54 years of age and lived off of Johnny’s Social security checks of $600.00 per month. She rented a room in the back of her house to different men who worked at the refinery for extra money.

    Stevena sold the house when she was 65 years old and moved in with her Grandaughter Laurie in Houston to help her with her 2 older children and a set of baby twins. Her Grandaughter had to work as she was a widowed woman herself, and Stevena took care of the children and Laurie for 3 years. One year after Stevena moved in with Laurie, her daughter Sherry (who just so happened to live 2 houses down from them) was electrocuted by an extension cord that she hooked up to a weedeater that was wet from the morning dew. This mortified Stevena but she continued to stay with Laurie and help her with the kids for 2 more years. Stevena moved back to Port Neches and got her an apartment.

    She was active in her church and active in her personal life. She played the bells with her church group and travelled around with them playing the bells at other churches. She had lots of friends and played dominoes and cards at least twice a week. She also volunteered at the apartment complex making lunches for low income people who lived at the apartments. She drove her own car until she was 81 years old.

    Sorry but I have to tell this story about Grandmother! On September the 10, 2008 There was Hurricane in the gulf of Mexico bearing down on the Texas coast and predicted to hit Galveston, Tx. Grandmother called Laurie and ask if she could come stay with us because we had told her the day before that we were going to ride the storm out at home, so we went to Port Neches's and brought her back to the house in Baytown, Tx (Chambers County). Anyway on September the 11, 2008 Hurricane Ike hit land fall, At 7:00pm we started getting rain and strong wind at about 9:00pm Grandmother decided she was going to bed, Laurie ask her if she didn't want to stay up an have a Hurricane party? She replied, Oh no dear this is when you sleep good is when a storms coming thru, So she went on to bed. So Laurie and I started preparing for the Hurricane to hit, at about 11:00pm the rain and winds had increased and we lost our electric and from that time on all hell broke lose with 110mph winds pounded The Eye of the Hurricane came right over our house. Laurie and I couldn't believe Grandmother was still sleeping. By morning Hurricane Ike had came through Galveston, Chambers County & Houston sending a 10 to 15 foot storm surge into Galveston and parts of the western end of Galveston Bay, and 20 foot surge over the Bolivar Peninsula and Chambers County virtually every structure on the Bolivar Peninsula was wiped away. Ike was responsible for $30 billion in damage.  And Grandmother was still sleeping and didn't wake up until 9:00am the next morning when the storm was over. Laurie ask her how could she sleep with all the noise, her reply was. GREAT! Now where's the coffee! lol. I will never forget that, what a night.

            Now Neil, her faithful and loving son, and his wife Maryann cared for Grandmother until April 2012, when she was 92 years of age. Her health sarted deteriorating so she moved in with Laurie and her husband David. Laurie worked and David was her fulltime Caregiver. She was always laughing and entertaining with her singing abilities. She is a remarkable woman indeed! She never complains and always happy to see any and all visitors. As of now, she has 6 Grandchildren, 16 Great-Grandchildren and 10 Great Great-Grandchildren. Everyone calls her "GG"

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