Weino Bereman Kangus
May 30, 1939 – Dec. 21, 2023
W.B. “Tug” Kangus passed away on Dec. 21, 2023, in his home in Page, Arizona.
Weino was born on May 30, 1939, in Mitchell, South Dakota, to Toivo and Lillian Kangus, the only brother of three older sisters. Rumor has it he earned his nickname “Tug” by them for fear of upsetting any vagrants in town while looking for him, calling out his pronounced name “Wino! Wino!” (Tugged home by the ear, most likely!)
Raised in Mitchell, Tug graduated high school followed by college at both SD State University and Inglewood, California’s Northrop Institute of Technology. He earned a BS degree in economics, an A&P mechanic/inspector certificate/instructor license and a CFI license, having learned to fly in 1958.
During college, Tug also met and married beauty school student JoAnn Bergjord on Dec. 18, 1960. Tug and JoAnn started a beautiful and busy life together, living in many places and settling in Page in October 1981 with their two children, Troy and Kimberley. They celebrated 58 years of marriage until JoAnn’s passing in February 2019.
Tug was best known for his love of aviation and his career in the field from 1964 to retirement at the end of 2013 and beyond. He was also known locally and across the country as a 40-plus-year pilot for the National Park Service, flying and maintaining many aircraft for them. The love, however, didn’t stop with the career or ending work day. He endorsed, encouraged and educated aviation in most aspects of his life.
Nothing gave him greater joy than taking someone on their first airplane ride, seeing someone turn their first screwdriver or exchanging “war stories” and “solving world problems” with anyone, usually over hot coffee and wife JoAnn’s baked treats or donuts at the local donut shop after her passing.
Tug is preceded in death by his wife JoAnn, parents Toivo and Lillian, sisters Mary DeLapp, Delores Gilbert and Toivola Rochovitz, and brothers-in-law Kenneth DeLapp, Paul Gilbert and Jim Rochovitz.
Tug is survived by his son Troy Kangus, daughter Kimberley Kangus-Bagley, grandchildren Samuel and Ashton Bagley, Isabella Gonzales and Tovi Allen, October 2023 newborn great-grandson Maverick Bagley (Samuel’s son), brother-in-law Gordon Bergjord, sisters-in-law Marilyn Miller, Janet Anderson and Eunice Gorder, and many, many nieces and nephews on both family sides.
Tug was a loving husband, father, son, brother, grandfather, uncle and a great friend to all. I hear he was a pretty good pilot, too! We honor his request for no services after his passing. Just enjoy the memories you may have of him. In lieu of flowers and donations, maybe a contribution to your favorite national park or a trade school, and if you’re ever at your local airport enjoying a cup of coffee, feel free to pour a sip on the ramp.