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Richard Wagner

RICHARD C. WAGNER Cedar Rapids Richard C. Wagner, 92, of Cedar Rapids, died Thursday, April 20, 2017. A visitation will be held at Cedar Memorial Westside Chapel on Monday, April 24, from 4 to 7 p.m. Services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 25, at First Lutheran Church. Presiding will be Pastor Craig Brown. Arrangements are being made by Cedar Memorial Westside Chapel. Richard is survived by his two daughters, Robin Wagner of Cedar Rapids and Renee (Lowell) Petzoldt of Napoleon, Ohio; and two grandchildren, Blake (Kristin) Petzoldt of Pittsburgh, Pa., and Courtney Petzoldt (Todd Manning) of Marysville, Ohio. He was preceded in death by his wife of 57 summers, Ruth; twin sons, Richard and Robert; and his adopted parents, William and Bertha Wagner. Richard was born in Minneapolis, Minn., on Aug. 28, 1924, and adopted by William and Bertha Wagner when he was in the fifth grade in Columbus, Wis. He graduated from Pulaski High School in Milwaukee, but was unable to enlist immediately in the Navy as he had hoped. He went to work at Harnischfeger until he was able to enlist in February 1943 for a six-year enlistment. Upon reporting to the naval base in Great Lakes, Ill., he had measles and spent time in sick bay. He finally made it to boot camp and once he graduated he was sent to radio school, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. He was sent to New London, Conn. After graduation, he was assigned to the USS-11, SS116, a ship built in 1916. Eventually he was transferred to Pearl Harbor, where he picked up the USS Spikefish, SS404. He was then assigned to a radio station in Panama, where he worked the commercial circuits. Finally, his discharge date arrived and he returned to Milwaukee. Once he returned home, Richard obtained a job as an insurance inspector with Retail Credit. He married Ruth Schaars on Sept. 30, 1950. The U.S. Navy felt it needed his services during the Korean War and he was recalled to duty. He was immediately sent back to New London and picked up the USS Chivo, SS341. He spent his time in Europe and as a result of the naval career, in the Atlantic, Caribbean, Pacific and Mediterranean. He was discharged in 1953 and returned to Milwaukee and Retail Credit. Throughout his military career on a submarine, he held the jobs of radio man while on the surface and analog radar man and sonar man while submerged. Richard transferred to the Racine, Wis., sub office, and from there was sent as an assistant manager to Rockford, Ill. Ruth and Richard enjoyed Rockford and were very active building the parochial school. Then Richard was informed they wanted him to go to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Richard spent 14 years with Retail Credit, then left for AAL for two years. On a visit to United Fire and Casualty, he accepted a job from them, starting as an underwriter and eventually becoming a marketing representative with his own territory. Because of United Life, he and Ruth were fortunate to make many trips to Hawaii and Europe, take cruises, and several other spots in the U.S. Richard retired in 1989. Richard enjoyed sports, playing basketball and softball. He also enjoyed singing and was a member of various groups, such as Harmony Hawks, and many church choirs. He was a lifelong member of the VFW and did a lot of refereeing and umpire work in Cedar Rapids. He was a member of IHSAA, IGHSAU and CR Metro Umpires Association. Probably his biggest enjoyment was singing with a men's group for many years. Richard volunteered a lot at St. Luke's Hospital in the Emergency Department and logged several thousand hours there, receiving an award for E.D. Volunteer of the year. He also received an award as Caregiver of the Year in 2007 for care of his beloved Ruth. Please leave a message for the family on the website www.cedarmemorial.com under obituaries. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be designated to First Lutheran Church Organ Fund or Child Protection Center of St. Luke's Hospital.