Michael J. Gagner 12/22/1956 - 11/12/2013 Michael Joseph Gagner, died at his home in Bakersfield, California, on November 12, 2013, after a fourteen year battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease). Michael was born on December 22, 1956 in Houston, Texas, to Lester & Georgia Gagner. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelors Degree in Chemical Engineering from Texas A & M University in College Station, Texas. Michael was a respected Petroleum Engineer with Exxon, Santa Fe Energy, Monterey Resources and Texaco. Michael especially loved his time working for Santa Fe Energy and Monterey Resources and the people he met through his employment there. He relished the challenge of producing energy without messing up the environment. He met his first wife Carla Green in Houston and was married for a short time which gave him his beautiful daughter Iris Michelle. He then moved many times with the Oil Industry, finally arriving for the second time in Bakersfield in 1988. Michael met Stacy on a "set-up" blind date at Wood'ys Bar & Grill in November 1992. They were married in March 1994. Their son Bryce was born in August 1996. Their love for each other and their children was immense. In 1999, Michael was diagnosed with ALS and fought a courageous battle against this horrible disease. Rather than acquiescing, Michael and Stacy did all they could to inform themselves about ALS. They traveled to Ventura County for 4 years to attend an ALS support group. They decided that people in Kern County needed a Support Group so they initiated the Kern County Walk to Defeat ALS in 2004 with their good friends, Mike & Lorna McWilliams and Barbara Rycerski & Mike Lewis. Over the last ten years, the Annual Walk has raised approximately $900,000 locally which has provided a Kern County ALS Support Group, an ALS Case Manager, a local "Ask the Experts Seminar", an Equipment Loan Pool, and a free ALS Clinic at Cedars-Sinai Hospital. Michael leaves behind his wife of 19 years, Stacy Inman, his Daughter Michelle Flak, her Husband Keith and their children Ethan, Sophia and Baby Girl Flak to be born in December and his son, Bryce. He also leaves behind his Sister Yvonne Sparks, Husband Danny and children Derek (Diana) & Travis (Brian) Sparks; Sister Kathy Hannah and her daughter Heather Mabry; Brother Ron Gagner, wife Judy and their children Austin (Jamie) & Kara Gagner (Nick); and Brother Tim Gagner, wife Tina and their children Zachary and Lyndsay Gagner. Memorial Services will be held at 10 am, Monday, November 18, 2013, at First Congregational Church, 5 Real Road, Bakersfield, California. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Michael's name to the ALS Association, Golden West Chapter, P.O. Box 565, Agoura Hills, CA 91376 or to First Congregational Church, 5 Real Road, Bakersfield, CA 93309. www.bakersfield.com/obits
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Published in Bakersfield Californian from Nov. 15 to Nov. 16, 2013