Dan Bagley

Daniel Gene Bagley (AKA Bags, Coach) was born Dec. 4, 1972, in Lake Preston, S.D., to Donald and Karen (Anderson) Bagley. The family moved to Newell, S.D., in 1974, where Dan and his sister Jackie would grow up and attend school.
Dan excelled in sports, playing football, basketball, running track and also playing Little League baseball in the summer. Dan always had a group of friends and was forever out and about with them. He also enjoyed deer and pheasant hunting with his dad and uncle and riding dirt bikes out at Orman Dam.
After high school Dan enlisted in the Army, where he joined the 101st Airborne Delta Co 1/187th Infantry Regiment (Rakkasans). After the Army Dan returned to South Dakota and married the love of his life, Robin Englehart in 1994. Their daughter Caitlyn was born in 1995.
Dan went on to serve in South Dakota National Guard with the 216th Firefighting Unit (Hellfighters) out of Sturgis and he deployed with them in Operation Iraqi Freedom 2004-05. Dan was proud to serve his country and truly looked at military as service.
Dan graduated from Western Dakota Technical Institute with an associate’s in law enforcement technology and later obtained his bachelor’s in business management degree from National American University. He worked as a deputy sheriff before becoming a juvenile corrections agent, where he tried to make a difference in young people’s lives. However, after his deployment he was done working in an office and decided to answer his true calling of becoming a wildland firefighter.
His first crew was the state crew, the Black Hats, and after a couple seasons with them, he moved onto joining the U.S. Forest Service Tatanka Hotshots, based in Custer, S.D. The family moved to Custer, and Dan spent several years on the crew, which he truly considered a brotherhood. This is where he earned the nickname Coach. Dan was an excellent teacher and wanted his fellow firefighters to succeed. This is where the term “savin’ babies” comes from as the crew often found themselves helping others in need, both people and animals.
Dan eventually moved from fire to timber management with the Forest Service, where he worked in both the Black Hills and Bighorn National Forests. Dan enjoyed his time in the woods, vastly preferring it to working at his desk.
Dan had a great love of the outdoors. Anyone who knew him realized how much he enjoyed hunting; fall was his favorite season. Whether deer, elk, turkey, antelope or bear, he enjoyed it all. He and Robin hiked hundreds of miles together, and took up cross country skiing when they lived in Wyoming, and camped around the Mountain West.
Dan ran, mountain biked, enjoyed archery and just generally being active. He and Robin ran the Deadwood and Crazy Horse Half Marathons and the Bighorn Mountain Trail Run twice.
Dan also loved the family dogs that came through his life: Cricket, Onion, Espn, Oscar, Murray, Bones, Finn and Hannah.
Dan, of Custer, S.D., passed away Dec. 6, 2021, at Monument Health Custer Hospital in Custer. He was 49.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Karen Bagley, in 1998; his grandparents; and his uncle Bob.
Dan is survived by his wife, Robin Englehart-Bagley of Custer; daughter, Caitlyn Bagley (Scott Chipman) of Rapid City; father, Donald Bagley of Newell, S.D.; sister, Jacqueline Bagley of Elko, Nev.; niece, Shelby (David) Frederiksen of Rapid City; nephew, Taylor Smith of Newell; grand-niece, Quinn Frederiksen; a number of aunts and uncle, many cousins and many, many friends.
Memorial services were Dec. 10 at Chamberlain McColley’s Funeral Home in Custer.
Committal services were Dec. 10 at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis, S.D., with full military honors presented.
Memorials in Dan’s name be sent to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, wffoundation.org/.

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