Robert Dale "Bob" Wagner

Wagner, Robert "Bob" Dale
81, passed away February 9, 2011, at the Sherman Hospice Home, Phoenix, AZ. He was born January 24, 1930, the son of Ben and Jennie (Oltman) Wagner in Clatonia, Nebraska. Known for his career in life insurance and support of Nebraska's Cornhuskers, Bob was a living example of his motto: "Keep Smiling". After service with the U.S. Marine Corps in Korea, he attended the U. of Nebraska where his love of football developed, earning as a senior the Tom Novak award and playing as co-captain in the Orange Bowl of 1955. Even before graduation, he began his 40+ year insurance career with Connecticut Mutual. For advanced study, he attended the Tuck Graduate School at Dartmouth and earned the CLU designation. In 1961 he was appointed General Agent in Milwaukee, building that agency from 86th place to third during the 21 years he was there. In 1982 he requested transfer to Arizona where his dynamic leadership built that agency as well. Throughout his career, he participated in local, state and national insurance groups but continued to mentor his agents and others, always available to listen, counsel and encourage. Bob's community service included Kids at Hope, Valley of the Sun YMCA, Stardust Building Supplies, ASU President's Club, ASU West Dean's Council and long time church usher. His greatest involvement, however, was the Rotary Club, contributing time and energy as long as he was able. Known for his positive outlook, Bob Wagner was a person of great loyalty, integrity and cheer. As a friend commented, "We were always eager to see him. He cheered us up when we were down." Bob is survived by his wife, Carol; children Marti Kautz (Rick), Matt Wallace, Steve DePalma and Betsy DePalma Sperry (Mike) and eight grandchildren as well as brothers Donald (Carolyne) and Roland (Bonnie) and sisters Janice (Jerry) West and Joy (Dudley) Saville. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 19 at 10 a.m. at the Paradise Valley United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Kids at Hope, 2400 W. Dunlap, #135, Phoenix 85021; Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower St. Phoenix 85014; or Paradise Valley United Methodist Church, 4455 E. Lincoln Dr. PV 85253.

Published in The Arizona Republic on Feb. 13, 2011