Paul Richard Wagner, 95, passed away peacefully, early Saturday, October 3, 2020 at Mill Creek in Galion where he had been a resident for just under 4 years. He was born to the late T. Glen and Barbara M. (Steinhilber) Wagner on March 2, 1925 in the farmhouse he would call home for his lifetime, in rural Bucyrus.
Paul graduated from North Robinson High School in 1943 and, in the fall of 1944, he joined the US Army, serving in the 14th Armored Division during WW2. He was proud to have served his country when called upon, but also humble when called a hero, saying, “The real heroes are the ones who did not come home.”
After returning home in 1946, he became reacquainted with a young lady from Sulphur Springs named Lucille Schwartz. They were married on August 15, 1948 and shared 64 years of marriage until her death on September 2, 2012.
Having been raised on a family farm, Paul knew he wanted to farm as well. After choosing to pursue dairy farming, he worked at both GE and Swan in order to raise the funds needed to begin his herd of registered Holsteins. Lucille worked right beside him milking the cows, and they maintained one of the top dairy herds in the county.
Strict feeding and milking schedules kept him busy for 30 years. After retiring from the dairy career and selling his dairy herd in 1978, he continued grain farming as long as his health would allow.
He and Lucille enjoyed traveling the United States and Germany and France as well. He enjoyed watching sports, especially OSU basketball (they were season ticket holders for many years). He enjoyed OSU football, Indians baseball, and he attended the first Indians night game. (a victory over the Tigers, in 1939).
He was a faithful follower of Col. Crawford athletics. Paul loved family gatherings and going to his grandchildren’s events.
He was also privileged to visit Washington DC aboard an Honor Flight in 2008.
Paul gave of himself for the betterment of his family, his church and community. He was a life-long member of Bucyrus United Methodist Church and the former Grace UMC, where he served as an usher and was in the Ever-Faithful Sunday School Class.
He also served on the Farm Bureau Council, Crawford Co. Dairy Board, Soil Conservation Board, North Robinson Tri-Star & Country Star Board, American Legion Post 181 member, and was a beloved 4-H Adviser of the Dairy Maids and Gents.
Paul’s advice to his family, when asked how to live life: “Work hard, Play fair, Trust God.”
He will be remembered for his kind heart, sense of humor and sensitivity. A simple “Hi Paul” would bring tears to his eyes.
Paul is survived by four daughters, Jane (David) Brause, Joyce Wagner, Janet (David) Cory, and Paula (Jeff) Bogard; 11 grandchildren, Eric Brause, Cara (Eric) Jones, Julie Brause, Mike (Ericka) Brause, Daron Perman, Sonja (Jordan) Parcell, Jacob (Kailee) Cory, Jenna Cory, Nathan (Angie) Bogard, Jessica (Jay) Schwanger, and Travis Bogard; 11 great grandchildren, Lyla, Hayley, Chelsey, Colton, JoLee, Hendrix, Isabella, Mackenzie, Nolan, Jack, and Benjamin.
Paul is also survived by many nieces and nephews of the Wagner and Schwartz families, many of whom considered him their “Favorite Uncle,” and it’s safe to say, Paul considered each of them his favorite.
He was preceded in death by infant son James Richard; brother, Robert (Mary) Wagner; sisters-in-law, Esther Schwartz, Viola (Robert) Weidemaier, and Leona (Robert) Kibler; brother-in-law, Leslie (Janet) Schwartz; and nephew, Gene Schwartz.
The Wagner family will hold a private service followed by burial in Oakwood Cemetery with military rites by the US Army Honor Guard and Bucyrus Veterans Military Funeral Detail.
Memorial contributions in Paul’s honor can be made payable to Bucyrus UMC, the Col. Crawford Schools Foundation, or Honor Flight Network. They can be given through Wise Funeral Service, 129 W. Warren St., Bucyrus, Ohio 44820. Memories and photos can be shared on Paul’s tribute page at www.wisefuneral.com