PIQUA — Dean Richard Wagner, a native of Piqua, a professor emeritus in mathematics from Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania, and most recently a resident of Baltimore, died at age 77 from cancer on Sept. 11, 2013. An internment of his ashes will take place in the Fletcher Cemetery in a family plot at 11 a.m. May 3.
He was born in Piqua, May 3, 1936, to Russel E. Wagner, who operated a refrigeration sales and service business and Mary Louise (Neumeier) Wagner, who was a music teacher in the local school system. Mr. Wagner is survived by his sister, Marilyn S. Hatch of Harrison, Maine and spouse, Dr. Stefan Goodwin, anthropologist and author of Baltimore, Md. Friends are invited to join the family at the cemetery in a time of sharing. Those in attendance will be welcomed to share their memories/stories of Dean.
After attending Piqua public schools, Wagner earned a B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University, a B.S. in mathematics from Ohio State University, and an M.A. in mathematics from Montclair State University in New Jersey. In addition to being a university professor who chaired his university department for a number of years, Wagner became a well-known architectural historian especially in Pennsylvania and Maryland. In 1976, he took a sabbatical from his teaching position at Lock Haven University to return to Piqua to write Historic Piqua: An Architectural Survey at the request of the Piqua American Association of University Women who had taken this effort on as a bicentennial project. He followed this work with four other similar books in central Pennsylvania.
Dean Wagner successfully authored nominations that placed 13 districts, three houses, and one church on the National Register of Historic Places. He also assisted in the placing of the Village of Rhinebeck, N.Y. Historic District on the National Register. The outstanding accomplishments of this native son earned him two lengthy appointments from governors of Pennsylvania to two state commissions: the Pennsylvania Historical Preservation Commission and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. During several years, Wagner was also a consultant to the Helsey Museum of the Clinton County Historical Society in Lock Haven. In Maryland, Wagner served two terms as a board member of the Maryland Friends of Olmsted Landscapes and Parks Organization and continued to use his expertise on historical architecture in and around Baltimore that included undertaking research on the lives of numerous architects, especially on German-born John Ahlers.
A world traveler, who was familiar with Mexico, the Caribbean, northern Africa, Asia, and Europe, Professor Wagner was especially fond of Paris and traveled there at least twenty times.
On the occasion of his memorial program last September, Wagner's achievements were honored by two official government proclamations: one from the Senate of Maryland and the other by the city of Baltimore.