Larry E. Wagner Obituary

Larry E. Wagner, 84, of St. Joseph, passed away on Thursday, July 14, 2022 at Spectrum Health Lakeland Hospital in St. Joseph.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 11:00 A.M. Monday, July 18, 2022 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 220 Church St., St. Joseph, with Fr. Jeff Hanley officiating. Burial will follow at Resurrection Cemetery with Military Rites conducted by the North Berrien Military Rites Team. Friends may visit with the family from 3:00 until 6:00 P.M. Sunday at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph, with Liturgical Prayers recited at 5:45 P.M. Memorial donations in Larry’s name may be made to St. Joseph Lions Club or Unbound. Unbound is a non-profit that Larry and Susie have supported for 20 years, including a visit to Costa Rica. Unbound partners with families living in poverty, empowering them to become self-sufficient and fulfill their desired potential. UNBOUND P.O. Box 219114, Kansas City, MO 64121. Those wishing to sign Larry’s Memory Book online may do so at

Larry was born February 25, 1938 in Evansville, Indiana to Arthur & Celeste (Jochim) Wagner. He graduated from Reitz Memorial High School in Evansville, class of 1956 and earned a Business Degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. Larry attended Vanderbilt on a full ride football scholarship and served as co-captain of the football team. While at Vanderbilt, Larry joined the ROTC which led him to a tour in the US Marine Corp, serving from 1960-1964. Larry signed with the New York Jets and spent a short time pursuing a professional football career.

In 1964, Larry gained employment with Whirlpool Corporation in Evansville. He retired in 1996 as Human Resources Manager in St. Joseph after thirty-two years. On August 5, 1967, he married Mary Suzanne “Susie” Mitchell in Evansville. Larry was an active member of St. Joseph Catholic Church and the St. Joseph Lions Club. With the Lions Club Larry led many club initiatives, serving as president and most passionately organizing Camp Leo. For many years, Larry served with the St. Joseph Youth Baseball Association as a coach, umpire and Commissioner, and was involved many other local youth sports. In retirement, he was an active member and part-time employee of the St. Joseph YMCA. He also volunteered with the St. Joseph-Lincoln Senior Center, where he drove the van escorting members to their Friday morning appointments. In his free time, Larry enjoyed playing bridge, crossword puzzles, word games and trivia. He was known as the trivia king. Most of all, Larry cherished the time with his family and many friends. He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.

Larry is survived by his wife Susie; his children-Regina (Greg) Janicik of Brooklyn, NY; Stephanie (Mike) Lehmann of Holland, MI; Chris (Sarah) Wagner of Oak Park, IL; Ben (Katharine) Wagner of Elmhurst, IL; nine grandchildren who affectionately referred to him as “Bop”: Mila & Margot Janicik; Sam, Peter & Josh Lehmann; Jane & Mitchell Wagner; Jacob & Kaitlyn Wagner; his siblings-David (Sandra) Wagner of Evansville & Alma McKeetham of Oak Ridge, TN; and numerous nieces & nephews. Larry was preceded in death by his infant daughter Emily Cecile Wagner on April 27, 1975, his sister Ann VanMeter and brothers-in-law Jack Mitchell and Sam McKeethan.