Gerald C. “Jerry” Wagner, Jr. age 80, of Neenah-Menasha, passed away peacefully on December 23, 2023 at Prairie Homes in Menasha. Jerry was born on May 31, 1943 in Appleton, Wisconsin to the late Gerald C. and Margaret (Reffke) Wagner, Sr. He was a graduate of Appleton West High School, Class of 1961. After graduation he attended Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri where he and his wife Judy first met. On January 25, 1964 he was married to Judith “Judy” Robinson in Pittsburgh, PA. He was employed for many years as a plasterer and then he started his own business, Wagner Plastering, retiring after more than 20 years. After retirement, he worked as a professional Santa in Wisconsin, Texas, California, and Arizona, and he loved the kids and the holidays.
Jerry was very devoted to his family and loved family gatherings around the holidays, especially Christmas and Easter. He loved camping, and for many years had a permanent campsite at Fountain Lake RV Park in Almond, Wisconsin. Some of his favorite moments were when his family would gather there to visit. He loved to sing, and sang in church choirs and church productions, He was also a member of the Fox Valleyaires. He loved to travel with his wife Judy, and they loved Arizona so much they made it their second home. They have many lasting memories and dear friends from their time there. Jerry was devoted to his faith and was instrumental in the construction and ministry of First Assembly of God in Appleton. He was referred to as a “giant of a man with a big heart and love in his eyes”. He was a source of strength and encouragement to others.
He is loved and will be missed by his wife, Judith “Judy” Wagner; children, Jo Ellen (Dave) Schwandt, Sharon (Jerry Baty) Thomason, and Robert Wagner; grandchildren, Nikki (Anthony) McCormick, Jess (Ryan) Pfister, Ashleigh (Michael Gonzalez) Thomason, Gabe Wagner, and Graham Wagner; great-grandchildren, Jack and Owen Klundt, Charlie and Jacob McCormick, Elsy and Rhys Pfister, Rosario, Demitrio and Mateo Gonzalez; as well as nephews Gerald (Ashley) Gabbard and Gerard (Beccy) Gabbard and many other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by son, Loren Wagner; sister and brother-in-law Lois and Glenn Gabbard, as well as Judy’s brother Jack Robinson, whom Jerry always called his “brother”.
A gathering for family and friends will be held on Thursday, December 28, 2023 at Wichmann Funeral Homes, Tri County Chapel of Menasha from 3:00 PM until 5:00 PM. A Memorial Service will follow at 5:00 PM at the funeral home.
The family would like to thank the staff and nurses of Oak Ridge Gardens Rehab and Prairie Homes in Menasha. Jerry was lovingly cared for in his final days.
A very special thank you to the many family and friends who have expressed condolences and support over this holiday season.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund will be established.