UNION CITY, Ind. - Grace Madeline Wagoner, 87, of Union City, Ind., passed from complication of heart disease. Union City lost a treasured 60-year town resident. She recently celebrated her birthday in December.
Madeline Wagoner is best remembered by her 20-year service as Randolph Eastern School nurse. She visited with virtually every student from kindergarten through their high school years and beyond. Creative and curious, she liked helping young people and was instrumental in starting the school's "Just Say No" anti-drug program. She was an avid semi-professional golfer and a licensed pilot and member of AOPA. She retired from the school system in 2000 but always kept and active life in the community she loved.
Born in McCall's Creek MS in 1925, Dixie, as she was called, would go on to graduate from Gladewater Texas High School where she was active in co-ed sports. She entered nurse's school during the Korean War, receiving her RN license after clinical work at New Orleans Charity Hospital and finishing as salutatorian of her class.
After a brief courtship, she married Bill D. Wagoner, and Air Force pilot, who would become a doctor and general surgeon, practicing for many years in Union City.
Madeline was proudest of her 164-year-old historic home across from the library. Determined to do it herself, she could frequently be seen mowing her own hillside turning down requests to help as her golf shoes made the steep grass cutting possible.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Myrtle Chapman Nixon, sister Gladys Holland and brother, Gerald Nixon.
She is survived by her brother, Jack Nixon and his family; her four children, Gary, Jolynn and Linda Wagoner, Janis (Emerson) Eby; four grandchildren, Tuesday, Elijah, Miriam and Jessica; and four great-grandchildren.
Her given first name was to honor her aunt Grace (Chapman) but she preferred her middle name, Madeline. Those of us who know and love her are blessed for her touch. Mom is the finest example of a life filled with "Grace."
Family and friends may gather to share and remember Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at Fraze-Brooks Memorial Chapel of Union City, Ind. Mrs. Wagoner will return to her family plot at New Salem Baptist Church in McCall's Creek, MS.
No matter where she walked or went, she would never fail to remark: "Look, someone dropped a penny." Then she would pick it up as if to return it to the soul who dropped it.
Memorial contributions may be made to Union City Parks Department, c/o City Hall. She enjoyed her walks through Harter and Railroad Parks (and the walks to get there) and wanted to thank the community for its generosity and thoughtfulness through these many years. You may help fund a memorial bench and tree planting along the Loy Walking Trail so that others can "sit a bit" and enjoy one great park from one great lady. On Thursday, come on by and drop a penny.