By Ryan Dean
(KSDK) -- The Jesuit community mourned the loss of a man who gave more than 50 years of his life to teaching at St. Louis University High School. Father Martin Hagan died Monday at 89-years-old due to complications from a fall.
Hagan began teaching at Saint Louis University High School in 1950. His friends and former co-workers said he was one of the most well-known Jesuits in the history of SLU High.
PHOTO GALLERY: Fr. Hagan's Life
"Father Hagan was a warm, gentle but stern, loving, caring human being who gave," said Joe Schulte, a friend of Fr. Hagan.
"He was always there, much like God," said Father Tom Cummings.
St. Louis University High School will spend the week saying goodbye to this institutional icon, who taught English and religion classes.
"He would always kind of affirm you. He would greet you at the door. He took pictures of every freshman class, cut them into portfolios and memorized every name," Cummings said.
Hagan founded the school's rifle club, coaching teams to five national championships.
"He was very proud of his rifle team. He prided himself on the ability his students had," Schulte said.
For 29 years, Father Hagan was the supervisor of SLUH's recreation room. During that time, he was known for gathering the largest collection of pool tables in the Midwest.
"He's famous for his nickel fine and we never changed that. The minute a pool ball would go off one of these tables, he would charge a nickel," Cummings said.
Hagan used that money to buy more tables. Father Hagan retired in 2001, but that didn't keep him out of the classroom. He rode his bike to school about three times a week to see students – well into his 80s. The rec room was named in this honor in 2003.
"I miss his companionship, I miss the laughter; I miss the corny jokes," Cummings said. "We just knew he was always there."
A visitation is scheduled Wednesday at Francis Xavier College Church, between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.