Philippi-Hagenbuch mourns loss of co-founder

Pat Hagenbuch, co-founder of Philippi-Hagenbuch, passed away on 17 August at the age of 79 in the company of her family.
Loading, Hauling & Excavation / September 9, 2021
By Ben Spencer
Hagenbuch will be remembered for her dedication, passion leadership and generous heart (Courtesy of Philippi-Hagenbuch)
Hagenbuch will be remembered for her dedication, passion leadership and generous heart (Courtesy of Philippi-Hagenbuch)

Hagenbuch was known for the generous contributions she made to her family, the Peoria community in Illinois, and to Philippi-Hagenbuch and the off-highway truck industry. 

Danette Swank, Hagenbuch’s first-born daughter and current president of Philippi-Hagenbuch, says: “She was a force for good and touched people in many ways. The legacy she leaves behind will forever impact our family and our business. She was a role model to our family and community. She demonstrated how to be a hard worker, to show humility and how to look for the good in others. Her vision and commitment to Philippi-Hagenbuch propelled the company to grow and improve throughout the years.”

Hagenbuch was born 4 November 1942, to parents L.B. “Phil” and Gladys Philippi. Her family moved several times until they settled in Peoria in 1959. Hagenbuch graduated from Peoria High School and continued her education at Christian College in Columbia, Missouri, and then at Bradley University, where she majored in marketing and business administration with a minor in retailing. 

In 1968, she married LeRoy Hagenbuch. Together, they founded Philippi-Hagenbuch in 1969 along with her father, L.B., an experienced engineer. The company brought to life L.B.’s visions for what the mining industry needed — specifically tailgates on off-highway haul trucks. Upon her father’s death in 1977, she and LeRoy took ownership of the business, with her managing accounting and operations.

Along with her passion for the family business, Hagenbuch also developed a heart for extending a helping hand and being a light in the community. 

Josh Swank, Danette’s husband and vice president of sales and marketing for Philippi-Hagenbuch, says: “She touched many lives with her generosity and knack for seeking out and serving those in need.  Reflections of her countless contributions and the impact she has had will carry forward well beyond this day.”

Hagenbuch will be remembered for her dedication, passion, leadership and generous heart. She was preceded in death by her parents, Gladys and L.B. Philippi and is survived by her husband LeRoy, daughter Danette Swank (Josh), son Brandon (Laura) and two grandchildren, Owen and Emery.

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