Obituary: Russell Wagner

Russell “John” Wagner, 72, passed away peacefully at home in Gregory, MI on January 15, 2021, after struggling with cancer for three years. He was the son of Bernice (Kline) and Russell Wagner of Ypsilanti, MI.

John is survived by his wife of 45 years, Sue; children, Noel (Paula), Jocilyn, and Sam; and brother-in-law, Gary Schoolmaster. He was preceded in death by his parents, and his sister, Judy Schoolmaster.

John graduated from Willow Run High School, class of ’67. He enjoyed working on their 50-year class reunion and staying in touch with classmates. His favorite pastimes included family get-togethers, traveling, talking on CB radios, photography, space exploration, and all things Star Trek. He was raised on motorcycles and passed his love of riding and restoring them on to his two sons. As a music lover, John enjoyed a wide variety, from Roy Orbison and old country western to Big Band. When his children were young, he volunteered for many years as a Scout leader. Early in his career, John made deliveries for Mayer-Schairer Office Supplies of Ann Arbor and committed to memory thousands of Michigan’s main and back roads. John was a kind, gentle, and patient man who drove everything from a school bus for disabled children to gargantuan snow-melters on the University of Michigan campus. He became a proficient snowplow operator and retired from the U of M after 25 years of “unburying” student dorms. In retirement, he bought a personal snowplow and several trucks to help friends, neighbors, and family.

A memorial will be held in early Spring, 2021. Expressions of sympathy may be made to Plainfield United Methodist Church, 17845 M-36 Highway, Gregory, MI 48137. Arrangements by Caskey-Mitchell Funeral Home, Stockbridge.

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