Robert Wagner

Obituary of Robert August Ludwig Wagner

Robert August Ludwig Wagner died on April 9, 2023, at the age of 98. He was born on September 1,1924, in Byron, NE, to Reverend Robert and Florence (Schoop) Wagner. He was baptized in Byron, NE, and confirmed in Treynor, IA, where he grew up. He told countless stories of his life there with his brothers Egbert and Richard, his friend Ward Strohbehn, and his dog Spud. Bob served in the Navy and in World War II along with his two older brothers, Egbert and Richard. Both his brothers lost their lives as pilots in the war. Bob graduated from Wartburg College in 1949, which is where he met his wife Mary Ann Lehman. They married in Montgomery, MN on May 29, 1949. He earned his master's degree in Educational Administration at Drake University. He worked as a math teacher, girls' basketball coach, and eventually as a school administrator. He was then employed as teacher and coach in Quinby, IA and then as Superintendent of Schools in Orchard, IA, Hanlontown, IA, LeClaire, IA, Woodland (Streator, IL), Ballard (Huxley, IA), Lakota, IA, and Ocheyedan, IA. He also served as administrator for the Estherville Community Christian School for several years. Bob and Mary Ann moved to Grand Rapids, MN, in 2005. Bob loved the outdoors, hunting with his two sons, and hiking in the woods. He inspired all who knew him by biking well into his 90s. “Use it or lose it” was his motto, and that is how he lived during retirement. He biked across Iowa in RAGBRAI in his 70s and 80s. Until his 90s, he would celebrate his birthday by biking as many miles as his age. Bob was an example of living life to the fullest. He was active in Kiwanis International and all aspects of the American Lutheran Churches to which he belonged. In 2015, he received the Senior Citizen Volunteer of the Year award in Itasca County, MN, for volunteering at the food shelf, homeless shelter, and Lutheran church. He also volunteered with AARP and was a substitute teacher when needed, even in his 90s. Robert moved from Grand Rapids MN to the Veterans Home in Minneapolis in August of 2022 at the age of 97, where he continued his walking regimen until he fell ill. His death on April 9 occurred following a brief illness. He leaves behind many amazing life stories, the love of adventure, the importance of good health and education, and his deep Christian faith. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife of 63 years, Mary Ann, his two brothers Richard and Egbert, his son-in-law Franklin Dahn, and his grandchild Bruce Wayne Faust, along with many dear friends. He is survived by his five children, Rev. Robert Wagner (Kathleen), Caryl (Franklin) Dahn, Mary Schnell (Bill), Richard Wagner (Sara), and Elizabeth Simmer (John); grandchildren Robert Wagner, LeAnn Dahn, Rebecca Hengesteg, Johanna Schnell, Laura Schnell, Jessica Wormley, Daniel Wagner, Grace Wagner, Eli Simmer, and Lian Simmer; and fifteen great-grandchildren. A Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, May 21, 2023 from 12:00 to 3:00 at Zion Lutheran Church, Grand Rapids, MN. Reverend Ben Buchanan will be the officiant. Friends and relatives are welcome, and lunch will be provided. The burial will be in the Treynor, IA, cemetary at a later date. Memorials are preferred to: Zion Lutheran Church, 2901 US-169, Grand Rapids, Mn 55744, Northern Lights Nordic Ski Club, 931 North Pokegama Ave, Grand Rapids, Mn 55744 Mesabi Hiking Trail at, 218-749-4331

A Memorial Tree was planted for Robert
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Cremation Society of Minnesota
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