August 8, 1931 - November 28, 2013

U.S. Veteran

Burial Date

Obituaries » WILLIAM L. JR. WAGNER

WAGNER, WILLIAM LOWELL JR., formerly of Barre and most recently of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, died on November 28. “Bill” was born on Aug. 8, 1931, in Pittsburgh, Pa., the eldest child of William Lowell and Dorothy Arthur Wagner. Bill grew up in several communities, including Springfield, Mass., and Laconia, N.H., distinguishing himself in both academics and athletics. Upon graduation from Springfield’s Classical High School, he attended and graduated from Middlebury College, where he met his wife, Janet Schongar. The two married in 1955. Following college, Bill served two years in the U.S. Army, stationed in France. Following his return from duty, he began his career at MassMutual in Springfield, rising through the executive ranks there, living first in Wilbraham and then Longmeadow, Mass., while raising children Meredith Jan and Reid Thomas. In 1982, the Wagner family moved to Barre, where Bill spent the remainder of his career at National Life of Vermont. In 1993, Bill and Jan retired to Grantham, N.H., building both a home and an active life with family and friends, tennis, travel, golf, music, the Red Sox, their lifelong commitment to volunteer work and continuing education classes through Dartmouth College’s Ilead programs. In 2013, they relocated to Chagrin Falls, Ohio, to be near their three grandchildren. Throughout every stop in his life, Bill gathered experience, knowledge, friends and respect. Curious, thoughtful, caring, witty, wise and an unparalleled listener, he enlightened all who knew and met him, always generous with his warmth, kindness and sardonic humor. First and foremost, William Lowell Wagner Jr. was paterfamilias to his devoted and adoring family. He is survived and celebrated by his wife, Jan; children Meredith and Reid; daughter-in-law Hilary; sister Dorothy Briggs; brother James; two nieces and a nephew; and beloved Portuguese water dog Glory.

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