John Earl Wagner

June 21, 1930 ‒ February 20, 2015

Mount Vernon, Ohio

John Earl Wagner of Mount Vernon, Ohio, passed away February 20, 2015. The only child of Glen Lewis and Irene Schrader Wagner, he was born June 21, 1930, on the family farm, near Fredericktown, Ohio. He was the valedictorian of the Fredericktown High School class of 1948. At The Ohio State University he earned both his Bachelor’s Degree and Master of Science in Civil Engineering in 1953. He was a member of the Tau Beta Pi engineering fraternity and the Chi Epsilon civil engineering honorary
fraternity. He became a Professional Engineer in the state of Ohio.

At OSU he was enrolled in ROTC. The next four years, he served in the Army Corps of Engineers as a First Lieutenant, working on construction projects in both France and Germany. Following his service with the Army, he secured a position with Creole Petroleum, a subsidiary of Standard Oil/Exxon in Venezuela, South America. For eight years he lived and worked in Caracas and on Lake Maracaibo, where he designed oil rig platforms. Returning to Knox County in 1965, he contracted with the U.S. Government to build the Fredericktown Post Office. He then began to design, build, and manage apartments in Mount Vernon and Fredericktown, which he continued for the remainder of his career. In October of 1966, he married Nancy Workman, who survives him along with two daughters, Elizabeth
(Terry) Hults of Pelham, New York, Sarah Wagner of New Rochelle, New York, and a granddaughter,
Phoebe Hults.

Although he traveled with the Army, for his work in South America, and on vacation in the U.S. and Europe, Knox County was always “home.” On the farm where he grew up and learned the importance of hard work, his favorite project was making maple syrup, which his family had done for several generations. Always a gentleman, he was kind and generous to his family and friends. He was very proud of the accomplishments of his daughters and will be greatly missed.

Friends may call on Saturday, June 20, 2015 from 2-3 PM at the Waterford United Methodist Church. A Memorial Service will follow beginning at 3 PM with Rev. Tim Parker officiating. Memorial contributions may be sent to the charity of one’s choice. The Dowds-Snyder Funeral Home of Mount Vernon is honored to serve the family of John Earl Wagner.

To share a memory or leave a condolence for the family, visit

  • Nancy, we are both sorry to hear about John. We will be think of you and the girls and saying a prayer for John. It seems that there are not many of us Wagners left.

  • Nancy and family, so sorry to hear of losing your loved one , he was a classmate of mine. Many blessings and prayers at this time of sorrow.

  • Nancy thinking of you and the girls at this time of sorrow,so sorry for your loss.

    Jim and Carmen.

  • Wade and I were so sad to learn of John’s passing. We will keep you, Sarah and Elizabeth and family in our thoughts and prayers.

    Love you Nance.
    Becky and Wade

  • Nancy and family, you are in our thoughts and prayers during this time of loss. You have our sincere sympathy.

  • Nancy and Family,

    My sympathy goes out to you and your family at the loss of a husband, father, and grandfather.

    Carol Navin

  • Nancy,
    Sarah let me know that John passed away on Friday. I was so sorry to hear the news. When Sarah relayed the news, I was recalling fond memories of getting to know you guys when I was in New York. John was a renaissance man, as I remember his fondness for any conversation revolving around engineering, renovations, Mount Vernon, Venezuela, family, New Hampshire, etc. Reading his obituary, I was even more struck by what a full and wonderful life he lead.

    I know Sarah and Liz are very proud of him, and I could always tell he was proud of them. I know this is a difficult time. You may remember my father passed away 21 years ago, when we were all in New York. My mom obviously had a tough time of it at first, but managed to continue on, and focus on the happy memories they shared, as I’m sure you will.

    My wife, Sylvie, and I are thinking of you, Sarah, Liz, Terry, Phoebe and other family and friends. We will be keeping you in our thoughts.

    Take care,
    Paul Cachion

  • Nancy, Sorry to hear about your husband John. I will keep you in our thoughts.

    Your late parents and my late parents were great friends.

    Stephen Rentz

  • Dear Nancy,
    We were saddened to hear of your dear husbands’ passing . Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. We shall remember all of your family get-together times at your Mother’s home…… all the fun and laughter that radiated into our back yard, made us smile as well to hear and see such joy in the love of your family playing together. May God grant you and your loved ones, peace and comfort.

    With Deepest Sympathy,
    Dan and Terri Moore

  • Dear Nancy,

    I am so sorry to hear of John’s passing. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.


  • Dear Nancy, Elizabeth, Sarah, Terry and Phoebe,

    We are sorry to hear of John’s passing; you have our deepest sympathy as you work through this difficult time.

    We came to know and appreciate John as he and Nancy were faithful attendees of the FHS ’65 Class five year reunions. At our 50th Reunion we all had the pleasure to meet Sarah, Elizabeth and granddaughter Phoebe who stole the show!

    John was a fun and excellent conversationalist; highly intelligent, knowledgeable, willing to share, non-judgmental and down to earth; he was rightfully proud of his family. John’s insights and thoughts on some of the major events and players who shaped Knox County over the years were very interesting particularly since we moved away in 1961; it was a little like hearing a local episode reminiscent of the “The Rest of the Story” by Paul Harvey. We especially admire how John brought his wealth of experience back to Knox County to make it a better place.

    From our perspective, John had a life well lived, and obviously shared a great accomplishment with Roger- they both married over their head’s. The world is a little diminished with John’s passing, rest in peace, John.

    God Bless the family,

    Roger & Jeannine Weller Davis
    Palm Harbor, FL