Wisconsin Businessman John Pagel Dead in Indiana Plane Crash

By Zack Stieber

Wisconsin businessman John Pagel and his son-in-law were identified as two of those who died in a plane crash in Indiana.

The plane, a Cessna 441, took off from Eagle Creek Airport in Indianapolis on Thursday evening, Feb. 22, and was headed to Green Bay-Austin Straubel International Airport in Wisconsin, reported RTV.

The plane took off around 6:20 p.m. Central Time, reported The Kewaunee County Comet.

It crashed around 20 minutes after taking off.

There were no survivors.

Pagel and his family own and operate Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy.

According to its website, the dairy has 8,300 acres and 1,750 cows and employs over 100 people.

Besides producing milk and other dairy products, the dairy also produces corn and alfalfa.


In a picture, John Pagel is shown with his family.

Pagel’s family also operates Ron’s Cheese in Luxemburg and the Cannery Public Market in downtown Green Bay, a farm-to-fork restaurant.

“We liked the whole farm-to-table concept, but John’s reputation was highly respected. It’s one of the reasons we started doing business with them,” Titletown Brewing Co. Chief Operating Officer Jim Kratowicz told Green Bay Press-Gazette. “But it was also a great personal fit. It’s a really, really a good family and John was a great friend to us. Personally and professionally, this is a tragedy.”

The Cessna was owned by Ponderosa Aviation, which has the same address as the dairy.

Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Green Bay, said in a statement posted on Facebook that the deaths of Pagel and Witcpalek were a huge loss.

“I was lucky enough to get to know John over the last couple years—he was a good and honest man who worked hard, and loved both his family and community deeply. Please keep their friends and family in your prayers,” he said.

A family statement said that Nathan Saari, who was piloting the plane, also died in the crash, reported FOX11.

“We appreciate the outpouring of the (community’s) thoughts and prayers and request your respect for the privacy of the family as we wait for additional information,” read a statement from the family, “As we know more details we will keep you informed.”

 

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