Donald C. Wagner, Pan Am captain
Donald Charles Wagner of Danbury, formerly of Ridgefield, and Miramar Beach, Fla., died on April 11 at his home. He was the husband of Lillian P. (Eakin) Wagner.
He was born October 3, 1932, in Hackensack, N.J. to Charles Joseph and Helen Louise (Baumann) Wagner. After graduating from Carlstadt High School, he joined the US Air Force. His first commission was in post-war Germany, training former Luftwaffe pilots for the new German Air Force. Upon his return to the United States, he continued to serve his country by joining the Delaware Air National Guard. In 1963 he was hired by Pan American World Airways as a training captain. After retiring in 1992, he devoted his time to his many hobbies, including woodworking, carving, and boat building. He donated rocking horses and wooden toys to Ronald McDonald houses throughout the country and was a member of The Guild of Rocking Horse Makers of York, England.
The family said he will be remembered by all who had the privilege of knowing him for his generous spirit, unabashed devotion to his family, and jovial sense of humor.
In addition to his wife of 61 years, he is survived by his three daughters, Karen Conroy and husband, Michael, of Redding; Donna Barber of Ridgefield; and Felicia Wojeck and husband, Tom, of St. Petersburg, Fla.; grandchildren Kathryn Cafazzo and husband, Devon, of Marlborough; Matthew Barber and wife, Kaitlin, of John’s Island, S.C.; Sarah Van Wattum and husband, James, of Bethel, and Hannah Barber and her partner, William Tomasello, of Ridgefield; a great-grandson, James Michael Van Wattum; a sister, Nancy Barrett of Kennebunck, Me., and cousins Peter Jeffrey, Patricia Zehner, Cindy Michaelson and James Nugent Jr.
A memorial service will take place on Thursday, April 14, at 2 p.m. at the Redding First Congregational Church on Cross Highway, with a reception following in Fellowship Hall.
The Bouton Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Ronald McDonald House or Smile Train.