Hagel was a farmer, and did not stop farming until she was 100, when she moved to the North Ridge Care Center in New Hope, Minnesota. She planted a sizeable garden, sewed, quilted and visited relatives. Her father died in the mid-1950s at the age of 95. She had 11 children with her husband, John, who died in 1966 at age 74, nine of whom were still living as of early 2008.
On February 9, 2008, Hagel overtook her sister-in-law, Delvina Dahlheimer, as the oldest person ever in the state of Minnesota and despite her advanced age, she took no medications. Hagel remained the oldest person ever from the state of Minnesota until she was surpassed by Walter Breuning on September 30, 2010.
She died on December 6, 2008 at the age of 114. At the time of her death her oldest living daughter, Cecilia Gulczinski, was 90 years old. She was
also survived by 35 grandchildren, 58 great-grandchildren and 20 great-great grandchildren.