James F. Wagner, 81, Defiance, passed away Tuesday, July 17, 2012, surrounded by his family he loved so dearly.
He was born in Defiance, Ohio, on September 21, 1930, to John and Mary (Willitzer) Wagner. A lifelong resident of Defiance County, he was the owner and barber of Jim's Barber Shop at 621 Fifth St. for 43 years and also engaged in farming for most of his life. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War from 1951-1953, receiving the Purple Heart. He was a member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart chapter 643, Combat Wounded Veterans. Jim served his community well with his involvement in many organizations and served a term as Defiance County Commissioner. He was a life member of the VFW, serving as past commander and on funeral detail, a member of the DAV, Jewell Legion (past commander), AMVETS, Knights of Columbus, (past Grand Knight and building committee).
He was a lifelong member of St. Michael's Catholic Church serving on its Holy Name Society, former school board, parish counsel, usher and festival committee. He was also very active in Tinora High School fundraising and support. Jim was very instrumental in his accomplishments with the Jewell Community Center, the Veterans Memorials at Independence Dam State Park and at the Defiance County Courthouse. After his retirement he enjoyed the daily "board meetings" and coffee with many friends at the Jewell Grain Company, where his laughter and great sense of humor will be sorely missed.
On October 15, 1955, he married Joan Goebel and together they had 56 wonderful years together. Surviving are his wife Joan and their five children, Chris (Bob) Weber, Phil (Kathy) Wagner, Linda (Jack) Long, Julie (Gary) Allard, and Marty (Terri) Wagner; 13 grandchildren, Jessica, Carrie, Laren (Kowalczyk) and Kelly Weber, Justin, James and Matthew Wagner, Andrew and Kristen Long, Kelsey (Piccirillo) and Courtney Allard, Brett and Brandi Wagner; 2 stepgrandchildren, Tracy (Heslet) and Lindsey Allard; and 2 great-grandchildren, Kamdyn and Langdyn Wagner.
Jim is also survived by his five sisters, Valeria Barber, Grace Cape, Marcie Froelich, Martha Konecny and Mary Gillen.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Carl, Paul, Bernard, Justin, John, Raymond and Walter Wagner; and sisters, Irene Baker, Rosemary Eisel and Joann Keil; and one stepgrandchild, Jason Allard.
Jim lived his life by the golden rule and taught each of his children to be compassionate and loving, independent and strong and his legacy of good work will live on in future generations. He will be fondly remembered by all those he has touched with his kindness and caring. We will always remember Dad's laughter, the silly dancing and the goofy faces he shared with his family.
Services will be conducted at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 21, 2012, at St. Michael's Catholic Church The Ridge, with pastors Father Robert Kill and Father Dave Tscherne officiating. Burial will follow in St. Michael's Cemetery. Visitation will be from 2-8 p.m. Friday, July 20, 2012, at the Hanenkrath-Clevenger-Schaffer Funeral Home, Defiance, with a vigil service at 8 p.m.
The family suggests memorial contributions be made to VFW (Wounded Warriors) or to St. Michael's Catholic Church.
Online condolences may be left at www.hcsfuneralhome.com.