John Earnest Wagner

Published 10:39 am Friday, October 8, 2010

RICHMOND, Va. – John Earnest Wagner of Richmond, Va. died September 25, 2010 at St Mary’s Hospital.

He was the eldest son of Myrtle Dilbeck Wagner and Ben Wagner.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Ida Tessier Wagner; and their three children, John Wagner Jr. and Patricia Wagner Dodson of Richmond, VA and Michael Wagner of Philadelphia, PA.

His greatest loss was the death of his daughter, Anne Marie Wagner, in 2003. He loved each of his daughters-in-law, Lisa Wagner, Susan Scovill and Claudia Harrell.

He also leaves behind two sisters, Annie Wagner Foster and Martha Wagner Wilson of Arkansas; and two brothers, Douglas Wagner and Bill Wagner of Missouri. He cherished his sisters, brothers and the memory of his parents who gave all they had for their children.

He was a 20 year veteran of the US Navy and served as a Marine and Medic in Vietnam.

He retired from the Roanoke Chowan Hospital in 1996 where he was employed as a Medical Technologist. He loved his work with patients and in the laboratory and had a special interest in hematology and chemistry. He worked tirelessly so he could give his family the home, education and opportunities he did not have as a child.

He was extremely proud of his grandchildren, Angelina, Morgan, Ian and Nicholas and enjoyed every moment he spent with them.

He was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and was grateful for the spiritual support of his church during his illness. The family would also like to extend their gratitude to the Bon Secours Hospice Center of St Mary’s Hospital for the quiet, sensitive care they provided during the final days of his life.

He was previously a member of St. Charles Catholic Church in Ahoskie where he was baptized into the catholic faith. He treasured the friendship of Daisy Carter and Ernest Perry.

It is difficult to capture the essence of one man who saw much of the world and who enjoyed so much of what he saw. He wrote beautiful letters of far away places and told wonderful stories. He loved long meals, preferably with prime rib, and heated discussions of politics and religion. He loved making his children and grandchildren laugh. He loved watching boxing and vigorously supported any team playing against the Washington Red Skins. He loved a well manicured lawn and growing his own vegetables. He loved taking care of his family especially his Ida, who was the love of his life and according to him responsible for every good thing in his life. His generosity, humor and goodness are his legacy; his memory will be forever a blessing.

Interment will be private.