Fernand J. and Suzanne (Chagniot) Wagner Violently taken from us June 14, 2006. Fernand was born Sept. 29, 1927 in Alsace, France. Fernand received numerous degrees from the school of life. Conscripted into the German army during WWII, he was sent to the Russian Front. He deserted and walked from Russia back to France dodging bullets, bombs and German patrols all the way. Once he returned to France, Fernand joined the Free French Forces to liberate France. From France he emigrated to Montreal, Canada, and became an excellent chef and restaurateur. He spent some time in Miami as a skipper on a yacht, then moved to San Francisco and resumed his work in various top restaurants, befriending people from all walks of life including close friend Rocky Marciano. In the late '60s he was able to open his own restaurant, La Cigogne, in San Mateo, in partnership with his brother and brother-in-law. Fernand was the chef and proud of the fine dining experiences he was able to provide. Fernand was a jack of all trades, especially a fine carpenter and it was through this work he met his loving and devoted wife, Suzanne Chagniot, from Belfort, France. Together they created a beautiful life, entertaining family and friends in their home with epic, six-hour dinner parties. The finest French champagne and wine flowed all evening. Fernand and Suzanne's work ethic and wise investments allowed them to build a comfortable life together which they fully took advantage of traveling to all parts of the world and returning annually to France to visit family. Raconteurs and men of the world like Fernand will sorely be missed and not easily forgotten by many dear friends and family in the U.S., France and Canada. Survivors include his loving brother, Norbert Wagner; brothers-in-law, Rene Chagniot and Bernard Chagniot; sisters-in-law, Genevieve Combel (Henri), Therese Equez and Michelle Chagniot; nephews, Marc Wagner (Jennifer), Richard Chagniot (Jean), Philippe Chagniot (Barbara), Henri Combel (Michelle), Emmanuel Equez (Carla); nieces, Hannah Wagner, Jacqueline Chagniot, Catherine Bendayan (Albert), Nicole Chagniot McDevitt (Kyle); and too many great nephews, nieces and cousins to list. Suzanne was born on June 13, 1938 in Belfort, France. Loving and loyal wife of Fernand who protected her until the end and ascended into Heaven with her. Suzanne is survived by her loving family here and in France: brothers, Rene Chagniot and Bernard Chagniot; sisters, Genevieve Combel (Henri), Therese Equez and Michelle Chagniot; brother-in-law, Norbert Wagner; nephews, Henri Combel (Michelle), Marc Wagner (Jennifer), Emmanuel Equez (Carla), Richard Chagniot (Jean) and Philippe Chagniot (Barbara); nieces, Jacqueline Chagniot, Nicole Chagnoit McDevitt (Kyle), Catherine Bendayan (Albert) and Hannah Wagner and many loving great nephews and nieces. Suzanne knew from a young age that she was destined for more than her small French town had to offer. She emigrated to the U.S. in the early '60s. She became a hairdresser, never missing a day of work in 40 years and remaining very loyal to all her clients. Most importantly, her existence was so completely intertwined and complimented by her husband Fernand. Together they were an unforgettable couple, showing elegance and class In every situation. Their loyalty and concern for family and friends were unsurpassed. Suzanne worked very hard but also enjoyed life, traveling the world and entertaining in small gatherings or big parties. She was always concerned that everyone ate well, drank well and enjoyed themselves. Those who knew her well know that she was one of a kind and although we would sometimes roll our eyes, we all loved her deeply. Friends are invited to attend a Funeral Mass for Fernand and Suzanne at 11:00 A.M., Friday, June 23, 2006 at St. Cecilia Catholic Church, 17th Ave. at Vincente St., SF, followed by Committal in Skylawn Memorial Park, Highway 92 at Skyline Blvd. in San Mateo. In lieu of flowers the family prefers memorials in their memories be directed to the National Kidney Foundation, 30 East 33rd Street, NY 10016, or to St. Cecilia's Activity Center Drive, 2555 17th Ave., San Francisco, CA 94116. Arrangements entrusted to SKYLAWN SAN BRUNO FUNERAL HOME, 200 West San Bruno Avenue, San Bruno, CA.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Jun. 21 to Jun. 22, 2006.