Jim was born and raised in Bakersfield and passed peacefully from this earth too soon after a courageous battle with Valley Fever and Pulmonary Fibrosis. He was the youngest of six children born to William and Elsie Wagoner. He attended schools in the Standard School District and graduated from North High in 1974.
Jim had an amazingly strong work ethic that was evident at the young age of twelve when he pushed a lawn mower and wagon through his neighborhood. When he turned sixteen, he went to work for his oldest brother's company (Kern Electric Distributors) and was employed there for forty-four years, officially retiring at the end of May this year.
He enjoyed family camping trips to the Central Coast every year, was an avid NASCAR fan, and spent countless hours maintaining his beautiful landscape at home. In the months prior to his death, he taught his two oldest grand kids the love of gardening. When he was no longer able to maintain his yards, they proudly took on that responsibility for their Papa.
Preceded in death by his parents, he is survived by the love of his life, Debbie, to whom he was married for thirty wonderful years. Jim is also survived by his daughters, Jeannine (Danny) Smith, Jamie (Thorr) von Slomski, Melissa (Joel) Oetker, grandchildren: Stephen, Haylee, Justin and Kirstyn Smith, Delaney and Logan von Slomski and Benjamin Oetker. Other survivors include his siblings: Elva Slater, Bill (June) Wagoner, Murrill (Linda) Wagoner, Marcus Wagoner and Lois (Royce) Holden, many nieces and nephews, special in-laws, friends and co-workers whom he loved very much.
Jim was an affectionately loving husband, dad, and papa whose hugs and words of wisdom will be forever missed.
Graveside services will be held Wednesday, July 13th at 9:00 am. at Hillcrest Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the
The family would like to say a special thank you to Dr. Syed Alam, Dr. Navin Amin, and the staff at the Bakersfield Heart Hospital CCU for their expert and compassionate care of our loved one.
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