John J. Wagner Jr passed away peacefully in his sleep with the love of his life and wife, Sarah, of 61 years at his side. John was born in the hustle of the Frankfort area, Philadelphia, PA in 1932. He graduated from West Chester College and the University of Pittsburgh with a Master’s in Physical Education after short stints in the Army, as a rodeo rider, boxer and chef. He moved to Pittsburgh, PA to teach at Falk School, the University of Pittsburgh. It was there that John’s love for family, teaching and cooking flourished for 32 years. Mr. Wagner was always found out on the playground with his sports jacket on, his body in perpetual motion and his two kids close by. John’s passion for food and friends took shape in multiple gourmet clubs, catering business, and school events. He was most at home surrounded by family and friends in the kitchen with his apron on. John retired from Falk in 1995 and moved to the Jersey Shore. He was a past president of AAPHERD of PA and helped endlessly with Sarah’s Jefferson Hospital’s Diploma Nursing Alumna Association. He and Sarah eventually moved to St. Helena, CA to be near their daughter, Janet and her husband Zane in 2012. The past six years you would see John and Sarah walking with their walkers throughout St. Helena.
John is survived by his wife, Sarah A Wagner (St. Helena, CA), his son, Rip Wagner and his wife, Janet (New Jersey), his daughter, Janet Todd, and her husband, Zane (Calistoga, CA), his brother, Rip Wagner and his wife, Rosanne (New Jersey), his niece, Alexis Wagner and her husband Phil (New Jersey) and Nephew, Glen Wagner and his wife, Karen (New Jersey), and three grandchildren, six great grandchildren and three great nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Hungtington’s Disease Society of Americas.