Richard 'Dick' Haglund
1933 ~ 2023
Captain Richard Haglund, age 90, passed away peacefully on May 7, 2023. The last six months of his life ‘Dick’ suffered from a backbone failure.
Dick was born on February 21, 1933, in Opstead, Minnesota to parents Oscar and Annie Haglund. He was number three of four boys in birth order. During his childhood, the Haglund family lived on a dairy farm in Mille Lacs County and as a youngster Dick carried out farm chores. He attended Isle High School located adjacent to the southeast corner of Mille Lacs Lake. Dick was a good student and a good athlete, playing football and basketball in high school. He was endowed with a good singing voice which enhanced his ability to yodel. Dick enjoyed running as fast as possible and told his friends that some day he would fly.
After high school Dick enlisted in the Air Force but was medically discharged for a skin disorder on his feet. Thereafter he studied for two years at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. Concurrently with his enrollment at Macalester, Dick took flying lessons at Flying Cloud Airport. To finance the flying lessons, he worked as a night watchman. Dick persisted with this rigorous lifestyle and in good time acquired his FAA Commercial/Instrument Pilot ratings as well as a CFI Instructor rating. The CFI enabled him to earn income as an instructor while building his flight time. Dick persisted in contacting the employment office at Northwest Airlines regarding pilot hiring. This persistence paid off and Dick was hired by Northwest Airlines on April 04, 1959.
Dick had a thirty-four-year career at NWA. He acquired his early experience as a copilot on the DC-4 and DC-6. His seniority put him in the zone to be one of the first newly defined Second Officers (S/O), replacing the former permanent flight engineers. He flew S/O on the Boeing 727 and in time taught ground school on that aircraft. When seniority permitted, he qualified as a captain on the Boeing 727 and 707 series. Many of Dick’s captain years were spent serving the NWA Flight Training Department as a simulator instructor, aircraft instructor and line check pilot. In 1972 Olympic Airlines acquired many of the Boeing 720/320 aircraft that were being phased out by NWA. Dick trained some of the Olympic Airline line pilots assigned to fly these aircraft. The training included on-line training from the Olympic Airlines main base at Athens, Greece
The list of type ratings on Dick’s FAA license includes the DC-10 and the Boeing 747 Classic. Dick, whose heart was truly in Minnesota, was based in Minneapolis/St. Paul his entire NWA career. It is appropriate that his last flight, the day before his 60th birthday and FAA mandatory retirement, was from London Gatwick to MSP in the 747 classic. He landed on runway 11R, which is now 12R, and taxied to Terminal 2 for customs. Many of his friends and family were waiting for him outside customs.
Dick married Lois Haglund (Deneen) in 1964. At the time Lois was an NWA stewardess and a couple years senior to Dick. In those days, Lois was forced to retire since NWA regulations did not allow married stewardesses. Dick and Lois have 2 children: Cindy Ricard – a Captain for Endeavor Air and Steve Haglund – a Dispatcher for Sun Country Airlines.
Retirement for Dick and Lois included along list of interesting activities. Dick built his retirement home in Crosslake, MN, which he called God’s Country. He loved walking through the woods, boating, hunting and most of all, spending time with his six grandchildren. In the winters he and Lois slipped away to Bradenton, Florida.
Dick was a kind and generous man who left a positive influence on many. He is survived by his loving wife Lois; children Cindy (John) Ricard and Steve Haglund; six grandchildren and his brother James.
(~ Haglund family & Bill Day)