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In Memory of Dennis Hagestrom

1978-1980 and 1991-1992 Ohio Court Reporters Association President

Dennis Hagestrom (June 12, 1940 - July 3, 2023)

Dennis Hagestrom Collage


Quote provided by Dennis in 2020 for OCRA's Centennial Celebration.

“I began reporting in 1959 as a raw, untested 19 year old. A lady named Nell McCue introduced me to reporting and helped me meet the speed requirements. If only I could hug her now in thanks. Reporting settled deep in my life and led me to twice president of the greatest state reporting association, OCRA. At the Academy of Court Reporting, we placed 1,500 reporters in 30 states.

My wife, Judy, and I traveled all over the country to reporting conventions. Service and leadership on many OCRA and NCRA committees led to development of great friendships that last to today. What a great perk. The profession allowed me to raise five children and meet their needs in life.

I urge that you all spread the story of reporting as a true profession for any young people you come in contact with. Any other choice would not meet reporting’s many opportunities.”

Dennis Hagestrom, OCRA President 1978-1980 and 1991-1992


The Ohio Court Reporters Association and the entire court reporting and captioning profession has lost an amazing man.  Dennis Hagestrom passed away Monday, July 3, 2023, at the age of 83.

Dennis is a past president of OCRA, serving for two separate terms from 1978-1980 (then OSRA) and 1991-1992.  In 1999, OCRA rededicated the Ohio Speed Cup Contest in the name of Dennis Hagestrom, who will forever be honored and admired by his professional family as the “Golden Voice of OCRA."  In 2006, Dennis became an Honorary Member of OCRA, the highest lifetime distinction a member can receive.  He was also honored with The Martin Fincun Award in 1981, The Glenn W. Stiles, Jr. Distinguished Service Award in 1984, and The Diplomat Award in 1999.  In 1980, Dennis was bestowed with the professional distinction of a Fellow of the Academy of Professional Reporters (FAPR) through the National Court Reporters Association (then NSRA) and was awarded NCRA's top honor in 1996 with the Distinguished Service Award. 

Please click here to view the obituary and service arrangements for Dennis.

Memories and Thoughts of Dennis, as shared by his OCRA family

Michele Eddy,
North Ridgeville, Ohio

We have lost a great man and teacher. I loved learning from Dennis. My sincerest condolences, Judy and family. We will all miss him dearly.

Marie Fresch,
Norwalk, Ohio

Denny was a friend and mentor. He taught court reporting when I attended the Academy of Court Reporting in Cleveland. He was always so caring and nurturing to all reporters. I'll miss his smiling face at the conferences. My sympathies to Judy and his family. What a huge loss for our profession.

Susan Gee,
Cincinnati, Ohio

I am so saddened to hear this. We have lost a great one. His accomplishments are so impressive.  We need more people like Dennis in this world.  My deepest sympathy to his family.

Pam Greenfield,
Richfield, Ohio

We all know what an amazing writer/reporter/teacher he was:  Three-time speed champion (while raising five kids) so no time to practice; active participant in state and national associations – including committee leader and board positions.

His book of loyal client fans reads like the who’s who of Cleveland and beyond: Burns Weston, Seth Hurd (Weston Hurd); Marvin Karp (Ulmer Berne); Myron Krotinger (McDonald Hopkins); Sam Komito, Leon Plevin (Nurenberg Plevin Heller McCarthy); Judge Anne Kilbane (Nurenberg Plevin); Maury Heller, Cyril McIlhargie (Nurenberg Plevin); Lou Paisley (Weston Hurd); Judge Charlie Clarke (Squire Sanders); Bernie Berkman, Larry Gordon, Michael Murray (Berkman Gordon); Bob Fogarty (Hahn Loeser); Robin Weaver, Fred Nance, Damond Mace (Squire Sanders); Mark McCarthy (Tucker Ellis); Mike Gallagher, Alton Stephens, Jim Gowan (Gallagher Sharp); Bill Bashein (Bashein Levine & Keyes); Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Convention (yuk!).

And the warmth, professional support, and fun he brought to the job: Chair races around Isabell’s desk in the Engineers Building; The “dictionary” game where the leader opens the dictionary and pulls out a word, the contestants write their best rendition of what the dictionary would say as the definition, and then everyone votes on the best answer. Even when he didn’t know the word, he was just so good at sounding like he IS the dictionary.

His fishing stories, travel stories, and best of all - PEOPLE stories. He kept a list of everyone who worked at Mehler & Hagestrom - from the beginning of time - and had a story of each one. From his Book 1 notes – attendance was $3 an hour and his life-long love, Judy, negotiated his first raise, left reporting to help save his beloved Academy of Court Reporting, and inspirationally touched so many people that to this day many working reporters speak of the open kindness and insight he shared with them.

So this new dictionary term for Dennis: "Frientor: frenĖŒ tôr. noun. leader, trusted advisor, mentor, confidante. See also: Dennis Hagestrom."

Mary R. Jones,
RDR (Ret.)
Henderson, Nevada

Dennis was such a wonderful, kind, and generous man. Stan and I will miss him so much. Hugs and prayers for Judy and the family.

Bruce Matthews,
Lakewood, Ohio

Remembering things aside from reporting are the things I remember best about Dennis: golf, fishing, just laughing and having a great time. We dictated many NCRA tests together and many state contests together, attended many meetings together. He was a very good man and a very good friend. I’ll miss his laugh and his smile.

Sarah Nageotte,
Jefferson, Ohio

It brings me great sadness to hear of the passing of Denny.  Without Dennis Hagestrom, I would not know the court reporting profession.  I was introduced to both Dennis and the profession in 1996 during my senior year of high school.  I thought what he was demonstrating was impossible, that no one could use a crazy-looking machine and take down verbatim what was being said and be able to instantly read it back.  Wow.  It was magical and I was hooked.

Throughout the past 25+ years, my admiration and respect for Dennis has grown.  He was a tremendous man, devoting himself to his family and always having time to give back to his profession, even after retirement.  

Dennis, I thank you for everything.  I would not be who I am today without you.  My thoughts and prayers are with your family at this time.  May you rest in peace.  <3 

Pamela Spangler Reis,
Cincinnati, Ohio

What a gift Dennis was to the field of court reporting. He was an incredible motivator and mentor. His contributions to OCRA and NCRA were endless. He was able to accomplish so much because of his sense of humor, dedication, and love of the profession, love for his family, and their incredible support. 

Thank you, Dennis, for your support and caring nature. Your family will remain in my thoughts and memories.


Please share your memories of Dennis with your fellow OCRA family and friends by clicking here.


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