William Lowell Wagner, Jr.
Chagrin Falls, Ohio — William Lowell Wagner, Jr., most recently of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, died on Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013. William “Bill” Wagner 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 United States 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,Vt., 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 life-long commitment to volunteer work and continuing education classes through Dartmouth College’s Ilead programs. In 2013, they relocated to Chagrin Falls, to be near their three grandchildren Abigail “Abby” Louise, and twins, William Reid and James Walker.
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; nieces, Joyce and Cate Wagner; nephew, Lowell Briggs; and beloved Portuguese Water Dog, Glory.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Bill’s honor to The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (www.bradycampaign.org) or Planned Parenthood (www.plannedparenthood.org). Arrangements by Stroud-Lawrence Funeral Home Chagrin Falls, Ohio.