|Death||He died on 10 September 2015 at Lansing State Journal, Lansing, Ingham, Michigan, at age 79; Donald Wayne Wagoner Jr., 79, of Okemos Michigan, passed away on Monday August 31, 2015. Wayne is survived by his wife Judy of 58 years, daughter Lisa (Marcus) Lee, son Jeff (Lori) Wagoner, daughter, Cindy Hale, grandchildren Jacob Lee, Amanda Wagoner, Nathan Lee, Justin Wagoner, and Faith Lee. Additionally, he has many loving cousins, nieces, and special family friends – including Mary Ellen, Steve, and Kathleen Ely.|
Wayne was born January 22, 1936 in Niles, Michigan to Donald Wayne Wagoner Sr., (DoD 1981) and Margaret Elizabeth Winger (DoD 1937). Donald married Mary Jane Matthews October 22, 1941. Mary was a kind, loving, and supportive mother to Wayne. Additional family members preceding Wayne in death were his sister Mary Beth Smith (DoD 2011) and nephew Eric Smith (DoD 2015).
Niles was a small farming community where Wayne attended Dutch Corners; a one-room school house. That is where he met his lifelong friend Lou Crouch. He was the first student from the school to graduate from college. He graduated from Michigan State University in 1958 and subsequently joined the Kroger Company. Quickly thereafter, he met Judy and started a family. Wayne was a dedicated husband, father, and provider. He and Judy instilled a philosophy of hard work, responsibility, and commitment in his children.
Wayne and his family returned to the Lansing area in 1975. This is when we all learned about being a true Michigan State Spartan. Wayne was active in his church and was supportive of fellow members. He was fond of the Men's Group at the United Presbyterian Church of Okemos. He loved to discuss different ideas and make a contribution to the people around him. He wrote and published a life story for one of his special friends. Wayne cherished being a grandfather. He was an active participant in their lives and encouraged them along their unique life path. He taught them to fish and he and Judy contributed to their college education. He enjoyed the simple things in life especially walking the beach in Paradise, Michigan, fishing with his family, and feeding the birds. He appreciated the simple things in life -- especially his dog Chipper. In the last few years of his life he particularly enjoyed going to Paradise with Judy, walking his dog Chipper, barrel racing with Mary Ellen, he liked Lisa's quiche, staying "relevant", visiting with his cousins, listening to Rush Limbaugh, and attending MSU games with Jeff, Lori, and their family. Wayne was most grateful for his daughter Cindy's advocacy and companionship in the last year of his life. Wayne felt blessed with a wonderful family and so many friends.
His smile was bright and tenderness pervaded his last years. He was accepting of people with all their strengths and frailties. His wisdom and friendship will be savored and we know he will check in on us from time to time.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, September 17, 2015 at Okemos Community Church, 4734 Okemos Rd., Okemos, MI. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church. For those desiring, contributions may be made in memory of Wayne to the Whitefish Point Bird Observatory, 16914 N. Whitefish Point Rd., Paradise, MI 49768 or the MSU Horse Teaching and Research Center, 1290 Anthony Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824. The family is being served by Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, 1730 East Grand River Ave., East Lansing, MI. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.greastlansing.com.3