John Peter Wagner, beloved husband and father, passed away quietly in his Louisville, Kentucky home on Wednesday, January 6th. He was just days away from his 88th birthday on January 10th.
He was born in Union, New Jersey in 1928, and lived there for 83 years of his life. He grew up with his large family on a poultry farm once located on Magie Avenue. After graduating from Union High School, he attended Newark College of Engineering before working as an Electrical Engineer at Singer Manufacturing in Elizabeth, NJ. Four generations of his family worked at Singers, including two grandfathers, his father, two brothers in law, and his son, and he worked there for over 30 years. He was also an engineer at Weber & Scher Manufacturing, formerly in Newark.
His interests were varied. He was an avid New York Giants football fan. He had an amazing talent for building and construction, and was always involved with home projects. He was passionate about his vegetable garden, especially his rows of beautiful tomatoes. And he loved feeding bags of cracked-corn to “his ducks” on the Rahway River each morning after he retired. But more than anything else, he was a dedicated and loving husband, father, and grandfather – all of whom will greatly miss him. He raised his family on Layton Drive, where he and his wife lived for 56 years. They moved to Louisville, Kentucky in 2011.
John is survived by Mary Ann Wagner, his loving wife of 63 years; his three children, Maryellen Wagner Zalewski and her husband Walter of Louisville, KY, John P. Wagner, Jr. and his wife Cheryl of Port St. John, Florida, and William T. Wagner and his wife Donna of Los Altos, California; and three grandchildren, Matthew, Melissa, and Julia Wagner also of Los Altos, California.
A visitation will be held on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. & 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Bradley, Smith & Smith Funeral Home, 415 Morris Avenue, Springfield, NJ 07081. A Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 at St. James the Apostle R. C. Church, 45 South Springfield Avenue, Springfield, New Jersey 07081. An entombment will follow at Fairview Cemetery, Westfield, NJ. In lieu of flowers, donations in John’s name may be directed to Huntington’s Disease Society of America, 505 Eighth Avenue, Suite 902, New York, NY 10018.