Family

In the midst of Chuck Hagel's work in Washington, D.C. in the early 1980s, he managed to cross paths with a press secretary for G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery, chair of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. She, Lillian Beth (Lilibet) Ziller, happened to be attending the same Capitol Hill reception that the young Deputy Administrator of the Veterans Administration was at on St. Patrick's Day in 1982. The new acquaintances spent the evening in delightful conversation. That following day, Chuck called Lilibet at work and managed to convince her to attend the National Theatre with him that night and she agreed, a date that would become the first of many.

Through the next few years and the many ups and downs of Hagel's career, the couple continued to date. By 1985 things had finally calmed down and on a beautiful afternoon in April Charles Timothy Hagel and Lillian Beth Ziller were married in the backyard of the Ziller family home in Meridian, Mississippi. By 1990, the couple had purchased a house in McLean, Virginia and welcomed a daughter, Allyn Elizabeth, and then a son, Charles Ziller, into their family. Within two years the family had doubled and by 1993 Hagel, with his family, made the next big leap in his career which entailed moving back to Nebraska...