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Frederick Wagener


Frederick Richard Wagener, 90, of Dubuque, passed away Feb. 26, 2020, at St. Luke's Hospital in Cedar Rapids. A private Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Rick's name to St. Luke's Hospital or to the Children's Miracle Network.
Rick was born June 7, 1929, in the village of Valley Stream, N.Y., to Frederick R. and Emma (Langenfass) Wagener and as younger brother to Dorothy Cunningham. Early on, Rick developed an interest in the stock market as a runner on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange at Wall Street. Rick later apprenticed as an engraver at his father's company KayDeck Engraving in New York City, beginning a lifelong career in the printing and engraving industry that was interrupted only when enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict.
On March 11, 1950, he was joined in holy matrimony to Elizabeth Sullivan at the First Methodist Church in Richmond Hill, N.Y. From this marriage, Rick was gifted with three daughters, Lisa (Jerry) Charley, Leslie Dearborn and Kellie (Jim) Bodeker-Goranson. He encouraged his daughters to be independent, strong and to pursue their desires. After the loss of Elizabeth in 1989, Rick was joined in marriage to Penny Marchman on July 27, 1993, expanding his family to include Lisa Carole (Roc) Kemmerer, Christy (Peter) Middleton and Michael (Stephanie) Marchman.
Upon accepting a position with Regency Thermographers, Rick was instrumental in growing its business, opening several plants nationwide. Eventually, this led him to Dubuque, Iowa, and the creation of a central Midwestern hub for the company. After retiring in 1995 from his long career with Regency, Rick devoted time to his family and friends. There was rarely a golf course that Rick did not like and never a rack of ribs he cooked that his family did not savor. Rick was a musician, an artist, and a businessman with a strong passion for providing for his family. In spite of his best efforts and enduring patience, his considerable business skills and Wall Street savvy were not passed on to his family – sadly, neither was his smoked ribs expertise. Although his passion for politics and family stories will be missed, the true loss is the steadfast foundation he provided to family and friends by serving as a beacon for leadership, values and loyalty.
Rick was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Dorothy; and many other family and friends.
He is survived by his wife, Penny; his daughters; step-daughters and stepson; as well as his grandchildren, Brooke (Jake) Dearborn-Huston, Bailey Bodeker, Connor Bodeker, Jackson Middleton, Grace Middleton and Cian Bodeker. Lastly, Rick's canine companion Piper remains waiting for her dad to return home.
The family would like to thank Dr. S. Halawa and Dr. R. Kettelkamp as well as the caring and supportive staff at St. Luke's Hospital, including the intensive care unit, the fourth floor cardiac center, and the Interventional Radiology team, which includes Rick's daughter, Leslie Wagener Dearborn.
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