Lisa Hagens was born October 6, 1957, to Anne and Paul Hagens in Shreveport, Louisiana. She died unexpectedly Sunday, August 27, 2023, from complications following a heart attack. To her sisters, Kathy, Ginger, and Edie, she was always Lisa the Lizard. She was also probably the prettiest of us all—as she reminded us, Daddy’s picture of her at age 6, sun streaming through her tousled blonde hair, won a Shreveport Times photo award.
She grew up in a neighborhood of mostly girls, playing Kick the Can, ping pong and Piggy Wants a Signal. She was adventuresome…she and Martin Walke launched a frantic manhunt when they meandered down Fairfield for hours on a Halloween night…when they were two! She added the expression “swallowing out” to our family lexicon (which graphically describes what happened every time she traveled in a car or small plane).
If the joke was a good one, her laughter could clear the room! Lisa’s education and social life reflected the transitional nature of the times: Baby Boomers morphing into Hippies. She attended South Highlands, Byrd, St. Vincent’s Academy and Southfield. Sr. Margaret Rose recognized Lisa’s musical perfect pitch—a gift that would win her a spot with the First Methodist Church musical troupe, The Cheerful Givers.
She had a brief theatrical career in the Centenary Jongleurs production of “Dirty Work at the Crossroads.” Lisa was creative. Her artwork hangs in all our homes. Summers were spent at the Hagens’ Camp for Girls on Bistineau, sunbathing and sneaking Cho-Cho popsicles from the Port O’Connor General Store.
She honed her riding skills at Camp Mystic but truly loved Camp Fern, where she was a proud member of the Owaisso Tribe. Lisa graced many colleges…she pledged Pi Phi at LSU, moved on to Louisiana Tech and Schreiner University, and eventually graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with a degree in Special Education, to which she added an MSW and PhD studies.
In 1992, Lisa spearheaded the arduous process to secure Dallas Independent School District accreditation for the Baylor Health System Adolescent Psychiatric Unit, allowing teens hospitalized with mental illness to maintain their education and return to productivity after discharge. It’s doubtful the children at Spruce High School had any clue that their tireless counselor had made her debut with the Shreveport Demoiselle Club and was a member of the Holiday in Dixie Cotillion Court.
Throughout her life she identified with and remained attuned to the needs of all who were disadvantaged or underserved. Lisa married Scott Playter in 1982 and remained friends with him long after their 15-year marriage ended. They had no children but parented countless critters: Shiner, the German Shepherd and Casey, a 40-pound Main Coon cat.
(And who could forget Hoot, the cat no one ever saw, who lived under her bed?!?) Later additions included Bella, Booray, Molly and Truman. When Lisa moved back to Shreveport, she added horses to her menagerie. Her Arabian filly won numerous blue ribbons. Harlow and Sugar were hits with her grand-nieces and nephews.
She loved Shreveport Mardi Gras, the Saints, the Highland Parade, Lake Bistineau, genealogy and all things old. Lisa naturally gravitated toward arts groups and the local music scene in Shreveport. It was there that she met the man who would bring her greatest happiness and love. She and Greg Pitts married just months ago and were in the process of combining houses, dogs and lives when she passed away. Lisa is predeceased by her parents and first husband.
Those whose lives were challenged by her free spirit and who are now deprived by its loss are Greg Pitts, Kathy and Bruce Lowe, Ginger and Scott Lowe, Edie Hagens and Mark Thompson, 8 nieces and nephews, and 11 grand-nieces and nephews. Lisa will be remembered privately, at her request. We know she would encourage us all to support organizations that care for those in need, whether 2 or 4-legged.