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John Albert Wagner

John Albert Wagner

John Albert Wagner April 16, 1942 April 4, 2023 John Wagner was a highly motivated entrepreneur, gardener, dancer, pilot, instructor, and beloved uncle who brought his focused and inspired energy to everything he did. John Wagner passed away on April 4, 2023 when his great big heart finally gave out, just 12 days before his 81st birthday. John was born April 16, 1942 in Bly, Oregon to Maude and Albert Wagner. He was the youngest of three children. The family moved to a farm in New Plymouth, Idaho in the summer of 1950. John had been an entrepreneur since childhood. When he was 12, his dad bought him several gopher traps. John was able to pay his dad back quickly. During high school, John got a job working with a local electrician and caught on immediately. John studied, tested and was the youngest member to hold an Idaho Electrician’s license at the time. John transferred to Fruitland High School where he was an all-star basketball player, as well as a stellar student. John joined the Army in 1960 and several years later earned an Honorable Discharge. He married Janet Marie McCarty in December 1962; however, the marriage did not last and they did not have children. Shortly after the Army, John became an airplane pilot, and taught many students to fly. John lived in Costa Rica and the Bahamas for several years with his wife Virginia. A lifetime MENSA member, John started and ran multiple businesses: property management, hydroponic growing operations, a real estate partnership, and a chemical business. He built an electronics business in the Bay Area. John believed that he finally became successful in 1980 when he built Wagner Electronics, working 20 hours a day, sleeping in his office, and barely making payroll month-to-month at first. He ultimately expanded into a 10,000 square foot operation with more than 100 employees. John suffered a near-fatal heart attack in Colorado in 1989 and lost his health and lost his marriage. His life-long friend Venus Andrecht, invited John to Ramona, California. An herbologist, author, and fellow entrepreneur, she showed John the way back to health. Together they built a multi-level marketing business, and they spoke to large gatherings of several thousand people at a time across the country.. John built a local Market Garden of vegetables and roses during his time in Ramona. It was there he regained his endurance and athleticism When his mother’s health began failing, John moved back to Idaho. She was able to watch John rise in the dance community, where he won first in the nation in the Amateur Senior Division in ballroom dancing for USA Dance, Inc., a national organization. John organized and started USA Dance Boise so local dancers could meet and hone their dance skills. He taught ballroom dancing on cruise ships and in Boise until his health declined and he could no longer dance to his high standards. John retired from dancing and spent the rest of his life with his beloved Connie. They built a market garden together, featuring John’s Heirloom Delicious Tomatoes. John loved his German Shepherd dog, Xena, speaking fondly of her on the day he passed. Xena loved her master in return and liked to lick his beard. John was a driven man who did a good job of directing his strong opinions and high energy, and was known for his direct and often pointed remarks. John believed in the Code of the West, that a man’s handshake was his word, and that’s how he lived. John could talk with anyone, but had a special rapport with old-time farmers because they all spoke the same language. He is preceded in death by his parents, Maude (Oder) and Albert Wagner, and his sister Mirriam Bean. He is survived by his beloved, Connie Norris; his older brother, Douglas (Paulene) Wagner, his niece Stephanie Parry who he remembers for her Shirley Temple curls, and her husband Rich Parry; his nieces Jennifer Wagner, Paula Gordon, and Lisa Michelle Bean; his nephews Brent and Brian Wagner and Ben, Joe, and Doug Bean; his daughter Traci Peterson, grandson Stephen, and great-granddaughter Annabelle Lee. John will forever occupy his bright, cozy farmhouse, where the curtains move gently in the soft breeze, overlooking his lush vegetable and flower garden, while his chickens scurry around and peck the ground. There will be no more storms or bad weather for John and he will be at peace.

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