Jay R Wagner

June 26, 1930 ~ September 9, 2019 (age 89)



LAKE CITY - Jay R. Wagner, 89, of Lake City, passed away at home surrounded by many members of his big, beautiful family on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019. 


Jay was born on June 26, 1930, in West Branch Township, to Penny and Nora Wagner. He was drafted into military service with the U.S. Air Force in 1951, and served until September of 1953. Jay married Bethel Johnson on May 8, 1954, in Moorestown. 


Jay worked for the Department of Natural Resources for over 30 years, starting in 1954, and retiring in 1988. He enjoyed farming, loved gardening, and was fond of Western movies. You could almost always hear him whistling a tune or singing a song, even when there was no music playing. Jay also was big on following the rules and making sure everyone else was doing the same. Running in the house, climbing trees, and causing a ruckus were generally frowned upon by Jay. While he sometimes could be strict, he was a big softie deep down. When he smiled, there always seemed to be a gleam in his eye. His loved ones could usually count on Jay to give them either a piece of candy, a piece of advice, or a piece of his mind, or sometimes all three at the same time. If anyone could talk your ear off, it would be Jay Wagner. He loved to spend time with family and was a devoted husband, loving father, and proud grandfather.


He is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Bethel; five children, Deb (Kris) Dewitt, Doyle (Deb) Wagner, Dale (Shirley) Wagner, and Dwayne (Brenda) Wagner, all of Lake City, and Beth (Rob) Grove, of Paris; 12 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; siblings, Margie (Jerry) Phillips, Evelyn Wade, and Marvin “Butch” Wagner; brothers- and sisters-in law, Marge Wagner, Betty Wagner, Helen Wagner, Donald (Alberta) Johnson, Colby (Martha) Johnson, Ginny McCarthy, and Char Oden; and many more extended family members and friends. 


He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Bernard “Bill”, Robert, Claude, and Burdette; brothers-in-law, John Wade and Fory McCarthy; and sisters-in-law, Judy Wagner and Maryann Wagner.


A memorial service for Jay will be held at 1 p.m., on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, at the Moorestown-Stittsville United Methodist Church, 4509 East Moorestown Road, Lake City. A luncheon will follow at the Norwich Township Hall. 


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jay R Wagner, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service
September 13, 2019

1:00 PM
Moorestown Stittsville United Methodist Church
4509 E. Moorestown Road
Lake City, MI 49651

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