Frank Wagner Jr., 92, peacefully passed from this world on February 14, 2018 while under the compassionate care of the hospice and nursing home staff of the Living Center at Geneva-North.
Due to scheduling conflicts, there will be no public calling hours or service, but relatives and friends are invited to a memorial celebration of Frank’s life at the Mull Funeral Home, in Waterloo, N.Y. sometime in May (exact day and time to be announced).
In lieu of flowers, his family asks you to honor his memory by taking a moment to pause, look out at the beautiful Finger Lakes farming landscape, and work to do whatever you can to help preserve it for future generations.
As a proud, lifelong farmer and landowner, he had an incredibly strong work ethic, a keen interest in and passion for all things agricultural, and a great generosity of spirit. He lived a full and happy life. In the course of his lifetime, Frank saw agriculture change from horse drawn implements to computer-guided equipment. Known to friends as “Junior,” those who knew him will fondly remember seeing him hard at work running farm equipment in his fields or driving truckloads of grain to market. “My father was the most hardworking, yet kindest and most generous man I knew,” said his daughter, Barbara. “Childhood memories are that my dad would come in late from working, would finally go to bed at 11 at night, then get up by 5 o’clock in the morning,” she said. “Dad was always there to lend a hand, loan equipment or money to help someone else, never asking for anything in return.” “He was also an avid animal lover, from farm stock to pets, giving food, shelter and free trips to the vet to many a stray cat who wandered onto his farm.”
Born in the Town of Junius, January 11, 1926, Frank was the youngest of the six children of the late Frank and Laura Wolf-Wagner. He grew up in the Geneva area near the historic Rose Hill mansion near Seneca Lake where he attended Geneva schools and was introduced to both dairy and crop farming at the Wagner family farm, to which his family had relocated from their previous homestead near Wimbledon, North Dakota. After high school, Frank continued farming until 1945, when he was drafted to serve in Greenland and Iceland with the U.S. Army during the late years of World War II. Following his discharge from the Army in 1947, Frank returned home to continue farming. He acquired farms on both Marshall and Ritter road, the latter abutting the historic Peter Whitmer farm in Fayette, N.Y. In 1948, Frank was introduced by his sister-in-law’s husband, Clifford Green, at a motorcycle hill-climb, to Phyllis E. Garrett, who he married on August 6, 1949. For the next 68 years, Frank was as unwaveringly devoted to Phyllis as he was to everything else related to his family, including his son, his daughter, and his family farm.
Survivors include his wife, Phyllis; sister-in-law, Janet Garrett-Green; son, Donald Wagner (Terri Hatch) of Bushnell, Florida; daughter, Barbara Wagner (Glen Silver) of Baldwinsville, N.Y.; many nieces; nephews; extended family and friends; and a special farm cat named Toby.
Frank was preceded in death by three sisters Marion Wagner-Luther, Margaret Wagner-Newmiller, and Doris Wagner-Jacobs; and two brothers Chester and Howard Wagner.
The family wishes to thank the staff of Geneva-North for the kindness and courtesy they extended to Frank during the year he spent with them. Too many to name, we thank you all.