Joseph (Joe) Dillon Bagan

Born in Denver, Colorado on January 24, 1940

Departed on August 2, 2017 and resided in Denver, Colorado

  • Memorial Gathering:
    • Saturday September 9, 2017

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Joseph (Joe) Dillon Bagan, 77, of Denver, CO passed away on August 2, 2017 at his home surrounded by many family members and friends.

A memorial gathering will be held on September 9, 2017.  Contact Laurie for details if you would like to attend.

Joe was born in Denver to Dillon Bagan and Estelle Rust Bagan on January 24, 1940.  He went to high school at St. Francis de Sales.  He graduated from UNC with a BA in history, and received an MSW from Denver University.  He married Laurel Peterson on May 1, 1975 in Denver. His career in social work spanned 32 years in various child welfare positions.  He retired from Adams County in January 2000.  He authored two published books, “Behind His Eyes” and “Lukas at Auction”. Joe was a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division of the US Army on active duty from 1959 to 1961, and was honorably discharged in 1964.

Joe loved horse racing throughout his life, as an owner, bloodline researcher, and writer for “Owner Breeder” newsletter. Betting on races was one of his great passions. He was an avid Broncos fan, and an original season ticket holder, he was also a Rockies fan. He devoted much time to reading, researching, and discussing books that focused on history, and non-mainstream ideas and theories. He traveled extensively, and especially enjoyed the world’s ancient historical sites. He loved movies, opera, classical music, and playing games with friends and family.  He also loved theater, especially Broadway musicals. Most of all he loved the home, filled with the art, books, rugs, and memorabilia; and yard and gardens put together during the mostly happy 42 years he spent with his wife.

Joe is preceded in death by his parents, Dillon and Estelle, and his older brother Jim.

Joe is survived by his wife, Laurie Bagan of Denver, daughters Jennifer Bagan-McKenna of Portsmouth, NH and Linda Quitadamo of Uxbridge, MA, four grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren, 2 brothers and 3 sisters, a  large extended family including numerous nieces and nephews, life-long friends, and Cato.


Memorials may be given to PetAid Colorado.


The family of Joe wishes to extend their sincere thanks to Agape Hospice, and all of the family and friends who were so attentive to Joe and Laurie during this past month.

Guestbook Entries

  1. Lorie and family, Once again I wish to extend by sympathies for your loss. Hold the good memories close in your heart. Ruth

  2. Joan England :

    Laurie and family, My deepest sympathy for your loss. I knew Joe through you, Laurie, and understand your deep sorrow. I hope you recall all the good times and remember one of those times each day. He had a great smile so keep that in mind as well. Joan

  3. Kim Hartnett :

    Joe, You crossed the finish line in all your glory. Love you forever, Your loving sister Kim

  4. Megan Molina :

    Joe you were one of my best friends. I will miss you dearly.

  5. Irene Van Cleave :

    I always enjoyed dinner with you, Joe and my parents. I have happy memories of being on your patio with you and Joe during grape season. Sending love.

  6. Dear Laurie:
    We’ve been thinking about you a lot, and are very sorry for your loss. Joe was a great neighbor and he always had a good laugh. He was always an absolute delight to be around and I’ll miss visiting on the front porch over a cigar, beer & cocktail. Our condolences…

  7. Andy and Lee Ann Crews :

    Dear Laurie,
    What can we say…..Joe was one in a million and we will miss him greatly.
    Love, Andy and Lee Ann

  8. I’ll always remember our late nights at our favorite watering hole, Rodney’s and solving the world problems and our evenings on your patio. Great trips together and your special golf game ! But must of all your comment to me “It’s really special to find new friends at our age”

  9. I knew Joe from St. Francis de Sales high school. I send my prayers to all of the family.

  10. Carolyn Lawson :

    Laurie; you and your family are in my prayers. I know how much you loved your husband and you were always there when he needed you.

  11. Jim and Chris Jorgensen :

    I remember Joe from way back at Denver Social Services, Child Welfare where he was my supervisor. Jim remembers Joe as a student, a fine one, from the DU Graduate School of Social Work. Joe’s sense of humor stood out for both of us.

  12. Laurie,
    I sure was grateful to have met Joe, he left a great impression, such an interesting man. Remember when he forgot to switch golf clubs to your car and he had to drive half way to Cheyenne? Fun memories.




  14. I was part of the group of guys that used to congregate at Joe’s house in our last years of grade school at St. Philomena’s. I always felt at home with Joe and his family and they treated me as one of theirs. I remember the stacks of comic books, the competitive sports, the schoolyard basketball games and all the great times we had. Over the years, I lost contact with Joe but really never forgot him. My thoughts are with Joe, his family and his many, many friends.

  15. Janice (Bahl ) Coleman :

    I was in Joe’s class ,what a character, and a friend to all who new him.
    Janice (Bahl) Coleman

  16. judith marienthal :

    I remember Joe for his sense of humor, quick intellect and kind heart during out years at Adams County Social Services. My prayers are with you Laurie that you may find comfort in your memories. Judith Marienthal

  17. Susanne Lansing :

    Laurie and family,

    We were shocked and saddened to hear of Joe’s death last week. I understand from Denise that he had been ill recently but was able to return home again before he passed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.


  18. Sherman Alsop :

    Joe Bagan and I have been friends for over six decades. We were in the same class for four years and graduated together from St. Francis de Sales High School in 1958. After high school we joined the military together and became paratroopers stationed in North Carolina with the 82nd Airborne Division. After our military service we graduated college at Colorado State College. Joe later earned a Master of Social Work degree at the University of Denver. We later worked together in a residential program for troubled young adolescents where Joe was the Director.
    Joe was highly intelligent, very creative and compassionate. He was like a brother to me.


  19. Laurie and Framily,
    I remember Joe from classes at St. Francis. He was always so nice to everyone and what a sense of humor he had. My prayers are for you all.

    Carol (Uberecken) Wolfe

  20. Shirley Harris :

    Laurie, I am so sorry to hear of Joe’s passing. Please know that our thoughts are with you and your family at this time. Joe’s contribution to Denver and Adams County will long be remembered. I hope that memories of Joe will bring you and the family much comfort.
    Shirley Harris

  21. Ralph Jude Mollica :

    Laurie and Family: Although I have not seen Joe since being a teenager, I was saddened to hear of his death. May the Lord bless and keep him and welcome him into his blessed arms forever. Ralph Jude Mollica (1st cousin) and Cindy Mollica. You and family are in our prayers.

  22. Kerry Schachterle :

    Dear Laurie:
    Thank you for being such a wonderful wife to my brother Joe. Things will not be the same without him. Joe always made our family gatherings fun and I will love him forever.

  23. Virginia Howard :

    I worked with Joe for 7 years at Adams County and remember his passion for horse racing. While it had been 12 years since I last visited with him, what I mostly remember is his smile, laugh and that naughty boyish grin on his face! I house sat for he and Laurie a few times; beat him at a game of basketball; and had numerous debates/arguments with him over different topics. From my experiences Joe was just one of those guys who had charisma and even if we were in a heated debate and disagreed, I couldn’t help but just love him and we always ended up just laughing! I miss you already Joe. Thanks for the memories and the smile it still puts on my face

  24. Karen Mollica Risch :

    Dear Laurie,
    Joe was such a neat guy, one of my favorite cousins, a sharp live wire, someone I looked up to when I was young, a HS freshman at St. Francis, and he was a senior . He died brave, as he lived.
    Karen Mollica Risch

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