Ron Fagen grew up in the small SW Minnesota town of Maynard. Fagen’s father, Ray was an avid pilot and an enthusiast of all things related to aviation. He played a prominent role in the shaping of the pilot that Ron would become. Ron had a wide interest in aviation ranging from the L-2 Taylorcraft he soloed in to the Pitts Special aerobatic bi-planes in which he flew Competition Aerobatics for a span of ten years.
Fagen joined the Army in 1968 and did a tour of duty in Vietnam in the Army’s 4th Infantry Division. Upon his return home, he entered the construction field with various commercial and industrial construction companies. Fagen, Inc. was formed in 1988 and specialized in industrial construction. Fagen, Inc., licensed in all 50 states, is credited with the lion’s share of the Ethanol industry’s plant construction. Power plants, wind farms and other industrial projects are typical projects in the company’s resume. In 2005, Fagen was inducted into the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame.
Aviation plays an important role in Fagen, Inc.’s success making all areas of the United States readily accessible from Granite Falls, Minnesota. Fagen and his wife, Diane, are retired from Fagen, Inc. but their sons, Aaron and Evan continue to run the business. Fagen, Inc. participates in Special Olympic Airlifts and Veterans Airlift Command with their two Cessna Citation aircraft.
In the summer of 2012, Ron and Diane Fagen along with their sons Aaron and Evan opened Fagen Fighters WWII Museum located near Granite Falls, Minnesota, at the Lenzen-Roe-Fagen Memorial Airport. The 4th Infantry WWII experiences of Ray Fagen included a Utah Beach landing on D-Day, the Liberation of Paris and the Battle of the Bulge.
These and other events are the inspiration for the museum which is a living memorial to this critical time showcasing exhibits, fine art, sculpture, fully operational iconic aircraft and ground equipment used in that epic conflict. The museum hosts Ray Fagen Memorial Airshows which exclusively feature WWII aircraft including all the Fagen Fighters Warbirds. Ron continues to “wow” the crowd with the ease in which he flies an aerobatic routine in the P-51 Mustang, Sweet Revenge.
Fagen continues to enjoy all types of aircraft and when asked, “What is your favorite airplane?” Ron replies, “Whatever airplane I’m flying at the moment.”