Michael's Story

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Michael (Mike) H. Wagner passed away on October 18th, 2017 at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Youngstown, OH. Mike was born on March 6th, 1947 to his loving parents Herbert and Cecilia Wagner in Windber PA and he was welcomed into this world by his sister Beatrice Kasnick (Wagner- Married to Michael Kasnick). Like many other young Americans, Mike felt it was his duty to help protect this great country and he joined the United States Army on October 18th, 1966. He gave his country 6 years of service before being honorably discharged on October 17th, 1972. Over the years, it was clear that Mike had three true loves in his life. His wife Lora Wagner (Gawel) who he married on November 23rd, 2001 was always number one, while fast cars and baseball would battle it out for number two. In his earlier years he served as a member of a Pit Crew on a local race team and he rebuilt a 1968 Camaro in his own garage to make it as fast as it could be. Baseball and his Pittsburgh Pirates always held a special place in Mikes heart. The Pirates played 162 games per year, and Mike watched everyone at least once. It was normal for him to even watch the replay of the same games late at night.
With his wife Lora by his side, Mike has battled many health issues since needing a liver transplant in 2003. He faced death numerous times over the years, and he fought it off each and every time. There has never been a stronger man who fought for life as hard as Mike did. His strength was evident in each and every battle, but those who knew him best got to see one of the most kind, sensitive, loyal, and loving men to ever have walked on this earth. Mike would give anyone the shirt off his back if it could help or even simply put a smile on their face. He always put others first and he never complained about his own problems when others would have lost their will to live going through what he did. His kindness and caring nature did not stop with people, Mike loved animals. His dogs over the years (Gomer and Brooks) and his cats (BooBoo and Sophie), could not have asked for a better companion. In his eyes, the pets were family and Mike would do whatever he could to protect them and make them happy. He would be known to even buckle them into a seat belt when taking them to the vet or sleep on the couch if one of them went to bed with Lora before him just so he didnt disturb them. Even his grand dog Ben enjoyed his time with Pappy Mike as they shared every meal together when he was around. Mike truly touched everyone (animals included) he had ever met in a positive way, and for those who knew him best realize that this world is a little darker today without him in it; however, we are all thankful to have had an opportunity to have known Michael Herbert Wagner and his memory will live on every day in our hearts and lives.
Published on October 22, 2017
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