Obit: Wagner, William Douglas (1931 - 2009)


Contact: Dolores Kenyon



Surnames: Wagner, Conrad, Witt, DeFrench, Chase, Powell, Kindell, LaGasse, Knusta, Grajkowski, Bellin


----Source: Thorp Courier (Thorp, Clark Co., WI.) June 10, 2009


Wagner, William "Bill" (5 July 1931 - 5 June 2009) With Flag


William (Bill) Douglas Wagner passed away peacefully in Findlay, OH, on June 5, 2009, surrounded by his family, after a valiant struggle with lung cancer for the past two years.


Bill was born July 5, 1931, in Owen, WI, and grew up in Thorp, the son of William and Florence (Conrad) Wagner, publishers of the Thorp Courier.  He graduated from Thorp HS in 1949, and attended University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Eau Clarie, graduating in 1953.  Later he earned a Master’s Degree in Arts and a Ph. D in English from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, OH.  He was married on August 27, 1960, to Janice Witt of Stanley, and they have lived in Ohio since then.


During his younger years, Bill played basketball and football at both Thorp High School and at UW-Eau Claire.  Bill greatly enjoyed ten years of counseling work at Camp Manitou YMCA Camp.  He served in the US Army for two years (1953-55) and for 16 years in Ohio National Guard.  A retired Professor Emeritus from the University of Findlay, Dr. Wagner taught Shakespeare, writing, and American literature courses for over 30 years.  He also held high school teaching positions in Shell Lake and Menomonie, WI, and Rossford, OH.  He especially enjoyed over 20 years of grading ACT essays in Texas and New Jersey.


Throughout his life, Bill enjoyed cooking for others, camping, hiking, racquetball, and reading.  His quick wit and humorous stories will be greatly missed.  His love of music lasted from grade school to his last days.  He enjoyed playing several instruments, was a member of the Findlay Civic Orchestra and two barbershop choruses in Lima and Fostoria, OH.  He was also a member of First Lutheran Church in Findlay.


He is survived by his wife, Janice, of Findlay; sons Will (Jill) Wagner, Knoxville, TN; Owen (Reassa) Wagner of Hilliard, OH; Jay (Crystal) of Carmel, IN; and daughter Melissa (Tony) DeFrench of Carmel, IN; eight grandsons - Andrew, Erik, Harrison, William Chase, Pierce, Griffin, Camdyn, and Ethan Wagner; also four granddaughters - Madeline, Sophie, Fiona, and Chloe DeFrench.  Also  surviving is his brother Richard (Karen) Wagner of Eau Claire; nephews Ben, Brad, Bob, and nieces Laurie (Brook) Powell of NC and Lindy (David) Kindell of OH. 


Survivors in Thorp are his brother-in-law, Jack LaGasse and nephew Mark LaGasse and family, also nieces Lynn (John) Knusta, Lois (Ed) Grajkowski, and Terry (Dick) Bellin all of Wisconsin.  Brothers-in-law are Gerald (Joanne) Witt of Stanley and Ronald (Margaret) Witt of Chippewa Falls.


Dr. Wagner was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Joyce LaGasse.


Friends and family are invited to a "Celebration of Life" service to be held on Sunday, July 5 (his 78th birthday) at Chapman Park in Stanley at the Rod & Gun Club building.  It  will begin at 11 a.m. with a picnic lunch and ice cream social furnished by the family.  It will include a "sing-along" and a time for friends and family to honor his memory.  An Ohio "celebration" will be held on June 20 in Findlay.  Dr. Wagner donated his body to science at the Toledo Medical College of Ohio.


----Source: Thorp Courier (Thorp, Clark Co., WI.) June 24, 2009


A "Celebration of Life" in honor of Bill Wagner, formerly of Thorp, will be held on Sunday, July 5, 2009, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 P.m. at the Rod & Gun Club building in Chapman Park, Stanley.  A picnic lunch will be furnished by the family, and there will be a sing-a-long and words from family and friends.



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