Navy Badge
  • Name: Dr. Harold "Finny" Edwin Lager
  • Location of Birth: Grand Rapids, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: July 25, 1924
  • Date of Death: May 20, 2000
  • Parents: John Lager & Hilja (Maki) Lager
  • High School and Class: 1942 Greenway High School, Coleraine, Minnesota
  • College: 1947 University of Minnesota Dental School, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Highest Rank: LT (Lieutenant)
  • Branch: Navy
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In: July 1, 1943
  • Place Sworn In:
  • Date of Discharge: December 12, 1952
  • Place of Discharge:
  • Military Awards:

  • Military Highlights:
    WW II Draft Registration Cards – 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947
    State: Minnesota
    Name: Harold Edwin Lager
    Race: White
    Age: 18
    Birth Date: July 25, 1924
    Birth Place: Grand Rapids, Minnesota, USA
    Residence Place: Coleraine, Itasca, Minnesota, USA
    Registration Date: December 11, 1942
    Employer: Student
    Weight: 170
    Height: 70 inches
    Complexion: Light
    Eye Color: Blue
    Hair Color: Brown
    Other characteristic: Tattoo 1" Left lumbar
    Next of Kin: Henry Ruuhela

    Newspaper article: March 1945 – “Harold E. Lager, U.S.N.R., whom many may not know by that name, or better by “Finney” [sic], arrived home Tuesday on a six-day leave. Harold is attending University of Minnesota, School of Dentistry. He is much interested in the placings by Midshipman George Mullins at the national A.A.U. swimming contest in New York City, since he and Geo. were teamed in Greenway relay swimming contests. Lager is a member of the University swimming team, and was slated to attend the New York meet, but did not succeed in getting a navy release. He has, however, participated in several swimming contests on the University team, also two in Chicago, one in Madison, Wis. and one in Appleton, Wis.”

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II
    Korean War

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    Finny Lager married Delores Hanson in 1947 in Bovey, Minnesota. Dr. Lager’s dental practice spanned 39 years, including both military and private practice. He retired from active dental practice in 1986, having served Virginia, Minnesota and the surrounding communities since 1947. He served on Gov. Orville Freeman’s Youth Commission, was a past commissioner of the Virginia Police and Fire Commission, and the Virginia Park and Recreation Board. He was instrumental in initiating the first city-lake trail system. With the late Art Stock, athletic director for Virginia high school, he lobbied the Minnesota State High School League for mandatory mouth guards for contact sports. Dr. Lager was a member of the initial committee seeking legislation requiring compulsory continuing education for dentists. He helped redevelopment of recreational skiing, both alpine and cross country, and was the last president of Lookout Mountain Ski Corp., as well as a ski instructor and a Central U.S. Ski Association Race Official. He was a member of the American Dental Association, Minnesota Dental Association, Duluth District Dental Association, Range Dental Study Group and a lifelong Lions Member. Dr. Lager was an avid historian with a particular interest in oral history as well as mining and immigrant history and Range folklore. He was a contributing historian to the Minnesota Historical Society, Iron Range Regional Resource Center, and an associate of the Iron Historian, Inc. He was a past national historian of the Knights of Kaleva and a member of its local Virginia Chapter. He was a member of the Virginia Masonic Lodge 239 AF&AM, the Scottish Rite Bodies of Hibbing and Duluth, and Aad Temple Shrine of Duluth.

    Dr. Finny died in Robbinsdale, Minnesota and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Virginia, Minnesota. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Delores; sons, J. Victor (Sharon) Lager and Robert E. (Ellen) Lager; three grandchildren; sisters, Lily Johnson, Violet Holt, and Irma Reilley; a sister-in-law, Vienna Lager; and numerous cousins, nephews, and nieces, here and in Finland.

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):