Merle E. Wagner 1924 - 2012 Lawrence
Merle E. Wagner, 87, died March 10, 2012 at Pioneer Ridge Health Unit in Lawrence, KS. Graveside services will be held on Thursday, March 15, at 2:00 p.m. at Penwell Gabel Cemetery, Topeka. He was born Sept. 22, 1924 in Independence, KS, to Ralph and Lorena Barnes Wagner. He graduated from Caney High School and Coffeyville Junior College. He served in the U.S. Air Force in the early 1940s. He married Emogene “Jody” Morrison on Aug. 8, 1948, in Caney, KS. In 1949 he graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in Architectural Engineering. He joined Casson Construction Company in Topeka, where he eventually became General Manager. In 1958, he founded his own business, Wagner Construction Company, which he operated for over 30 years. He was also a part owner of Topeka Lath & Plaster. During his career, he was the state treasurer of the Associated General Contractors and he served as its president in 1972. He also served on the AGC State Board of Directors and the National Board of Directors. In 1968 he purchased a farm near Hoyt and enjoyed part-time farming for 30 years. Merle retired from his construction business in 1989 and from farming in 1998.
He was preceded in death by his wife Jody, his parents, three brothers and two sisters. His is survived by his four children, Cheryl Wagner and husband John Nixon of Lawrence, Jayne Sullivan and husband John of Fort Worth, TX, Dean and partner Kimberly Swick of Topeka, and Diane Bracciano and husband Tom of Lawrence; 7 grandchildren, Elizabeth LaPreze (Ryan), Sarah Bodle, Anna Nathan (Brad Hayes), Mark Kelly (Stacie), Emily Sullivan, Megan Bracciano, and Lauren Bracciano; 6 great-grandchildren, Jacob, Lindsay, Owen, Sullivan, Delaynie, and Garrett; a sister, Lois Henderson, of Sand Springs, OK; and a foster son, Corey Valenta of Topeka.
The family suggests memorial donations be made to Grace Hospice, 1420 Wakarusa, Ste. 202, Lawrence, KS 66049. To leave a special message for the family online, please visit www.DoveCremation.com.