Richard "Dick" E. Wagner
Beloved grandfather, father, husband, brother, uncle, and friend, Richard "Dick" E. Wagner, surrounded by his children, passed away on Wednesday, October 6th, 2021, at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital in Yakima; he was 82 years young. Dick was born on October 24th, 1938, to Adolf and Marie (Sterkle) Wagner in Torrington, Wyoming, one of seven children.
In 1946 the Wagner family moved from Wyoming to Gering Nebraska where Dick was raised. He graduated from Gering High School in 1957 and entered the work force. In November of 1961 Dick answered the call and was drafted into the US Army for the Berlin and Cuban Missile Crisis. Dick was assigned to Company B, 5th Supply and Transport Battalion, 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized) in Fort Carson, CO. He was honorably discharged in October 1967.
In 1964 Dick was hired by the City of Lincoln, NE, and served as a firefighter with the Lincoln Fire Department until relocating with several family members to Washington State in 1968. He was then hired with United Airlines working as a Ramp Serviceman and Ramp Lead Serviceman until his retirement in 1999 after 30 years of service.
In 1969, Dick's niece, Stephanie Spahn, introduced him to the love of his life, Kathy, and they married soon thereafter on September 6th, 1969 in Issaquah. In 1974 Dick and Kathy relocated to the Yakima Valley where they bought a farm in Outlook and raised their three children Erica, Brian and Matthew. After 18 years of marriage Kathy passed away after a short battle with cancer in 1988. He resided in Outlook at the family home until his passing. Dick always enjoyed visiting with family and friends and became known as, "Grandpa Dick", not only with his grandchildren, but with several extended grandchildren as well.
In Dick's younger years, he loved fresh and saltwater fishing, boating, bird and deer hunting, restoring muscle cars and watched drag racing. Every fall he also enjoyed following the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers football team and loved oldies classic and country music. After retirement, Dad was an avid reader keeping up with current local and national news, US history and politics. He enjoyed having "spirited" debates, helping his son raise livestock and most of all valued spending time with his family.
While commuting and working at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport for several years, Dick always made time to call home and supported his family when and whatever way he could. A life well lived, Dick truly loved his family, he cherished and was especially proud of his grandchildren, and he loved our country - he was a true patriot at heart. Dick was a member of the National Rifle Association and lifetime member of the Second Amendment Foundation.
Dick is survived by his children Erica (David) Rollinger of Zillah; Brian (Elaina) Wagner of Outlook; and Matthew Wagner of Outlook; grandchildren Kelsey (Shawn) Mathias of Pasco; Garrett Wagner; Sarahann Wagner and Ryan Rollinger; his sister Gladys Sinclair of LaCenter; brothers Alfred Wagner of Mesa, AZ; and Rueben (VonEmma) Wagner of Sammamish. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews and his favorite German Shepherd, "Fritz". He is preceded in death by his wife Kathleen Wagner; step-son Richard S. Wagner; father Adolf Wagner; mother Marie Wagner; brothers Donald Wagner and Leon Wagner; sister Dorothy Spahn and his cat "Henry".
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, October 23rd, 11:00 a.m., at Smith Funeral Home in Sunnyside, graveside inurnment service with Military Honors at the Outlook Cemetery. In lieu of flowers and in Dick's remembrance, donations may be made to the Second Amendment Foundation in Bellevue, WA, at www.saf.org. The family would like to especially thank Dr. Maxwell and Nurses Nicole, Amber, and Gracie at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital who were supportive, kind and compassionate to our father and family while Dad was in their care. We are so grateful for you all. Those wishing to sign Dick’s online memorial book may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com Smith Funeral Home in Sunnyside is in care of arrangements.
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