Ed and Shirley's Story
Edgar "Ed" Eugene Wagner was born Nov. 10, 1930, in Neosho, Mo., to the late Harvey and Pauline Wagner. At the age of 85, Ed passed away on May 2, 2016.
Shirley Joan Miller Wagner was born Sept. 18, 1932, in Carthage, Mo., to the late Guy and Clara Miller. Also at the age of 85, Shirley passed away on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018.
After school, Ed volunteered for the National Guard from 1951 to 1954. He worked for Missouri Steel, Burnage Welding Supply, Linde Air Products, and Teledyne, before finally retiring as Head of Security for St. John's Hospital. He graduated from the Missouri Southern Police Academy and volunteered as a deputy reserve for the Newton County Sheriff's Department.
Ed earned his pilot's license at an early age and flew private planes off and on for most of his life. He loved to fly, and many memories were shared with his wife and kids at the local airport where Ed would take them flying.
In September 1951, Ed met the love of his life, Shirley, at the Neosho skating rink. They were married three months later on Dec. 22, 1951. Ed and Shirley had been married over 64 years when Ed passed in 2016.
Shirley was working at the telephone company, in Joplin, when she met Ed. She had lived in Joplin most of her life, and after marriage Shirley worked outside of the home at St. John's Hospital in the radiology department. However, her primary job was always taking care of her daughters and family.
She was a member of the Beta Phi sorority and volunteered with the St. John's Auxiliary, along with Ed for several years.
Their granddaughter, Tara, came to live with them shortly after she was born in 1981. They accepted her into their home as a younger daughter and they legally adopted her in 1994.
Ed and Shirley were both lifelong members of Forest Park Baptist Church, in Joplin, and raised their daughters there. Ed volunteered at the church for several years to help run a camera and record the pastor's message for homebound people.
Ed and Shirley were preceded in death by their parents; two daughters, Linda Lindley, on Feb. 6, 2008, and Rhonda Rapp, on Aug. 4, 2011.
Survivors include their daughters, Marilyn Stiger and husband, Don, of Sicklerville, N.J., and Tara Smith and husband, Wayne, of Joplin; 10 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and several great-great-grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A memorial service for both Ed and Shirley will be Friday, March 9, at 10 a.m. at Parker Mortuary Chapel, with Dr. John Swadley officiating. Inurnment of their ashes will be in Mount Hope Cemetery.
Published on March 4, 2018