A staple in the automotive community since the 1980s, Hagerty classic car and boat insurance helped transform how collector pieces are protected in this day and age. On March 18th, the automotive community lost the special man who was the pinnacle piece of Hagerty, its founder and long-time supporter, Frank Hagerty. Please join us in remembering this great man and paying tribute to his many endeavors.

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Images: Hagerty Insurance via Hemmings

Whether you knew him well or only in passing, one thing that couldn’t be denied about Frank Hagerty was his sheer determination and generous ways. Most recently, this could be seen in his 40-year search and final accumulation of the No. 9 Sleeping Bear Dunesmobile. You can check out his unique search for the ’48 Ford in the Hagerty Classic Cars video above.

Special to him, as well as the people of northern Michigan, the Dunesmobile was returned to the area through Hagerty’s determination.

Revealed on Fourth of July, the car brought back memories for the classic car enthusiast as well as longtime residents and their families, finally bringing back the missing piece of the Dunesmobile puzzle to upper Michigan.

Record-Eagle/Keith King Hagerty Insurance Agency Friday in Traverse City.

Hagerty remains one of the largest employers in Traverse City today. Image: Traverse City Record-Eagle

On March 9th, 2014, the car went on to win Best in Class-Beach Cars at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance show in Florida. Frank Hagerty rode in the car to accept the award surrounded by his family. He passed nine days later at the age of 79.

In addition to his insurance company and determination to find the No. 9 Dunesmobile that shaped his younger years, Hagerty is remembered for his undying love for classic cars and boats.

According to his obituary, Hagerty’s first car, a 1956 Ford Thunderbird still remains in the family today, while countless classic boats and cars were touched by his hands over the last several decades.

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Known widely for his love of the classics, whether they were boats or cars, Hagerty passed his passion on to thousands through his friendships and business ventures.

Hagerty is also remembered for the generous soul he was, contributing to many social causes over the years, wholeheartedly supporting his church’s building projects, participating in the Big Brother/Big Sister program, and being a longtime member of the Kiwanis club. Hagerty is also remembered as an amazing friend to individuals all over the country, a loving father and grandfather, and a man that would truly give his shirt off his back to help a stranger.

Hagerty is survived by his former wife Louise; children Kim, Tammy, and McKeel; and grandchildren Mia, Hanna, Olivia, Sophia, and Ava. He also leaves behind three rescued cats.

Funeral services were held for Hagerty on Monday, March 24th. In his never fading generosity, Hagerty asked that instead of flowers, individuals considered adopting a homeless animal or making a contribution to a local Humane Society.

Our condolences go out to the Hagerty family. Frank Hagerty will truly be missed.

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Hagerty and his family on the beach with the Dunesmobile on March 9th, 2014.