Penny Jean Wagner, 60, of Grand Island, passed from this life to the next on Monday April 8, 2013, at St. Francis Hospital after a long illness.
Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Third City Christian Church, with Pastor Scott Jones officiating. A private family interment will be held at a later date.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Livingston-Sondermann Funeral Home, with the family present from 5 to 8 p.m. Memorials are suggested to Kid City at TCCC.
Mrs. Wagner was born Sunday May 4, 1952, at McCook to Allyne LaVerne Bates and Wilma Pauline Brubaker. She was united in marriage to Mikel D. Wagner on June 24, 1973, in Beaver City.
Survivors of her immediate family include her husband, Mikel; her mother, Wilma Bates of Beaver City; a son and daughter-in-law, Adam and Samantha Wagner, of Colorado Springs, Colo.; two daughters and sons-in law, Amie and Jason Brown of Grand Island and Allynda and Kyle Callies of Benton City, Wash.; two brothers, Allen Bates of Eminence, Mo., and Clark Bates of McCook; and one sister, Anita Artz of Hastings; and her grandchildren, Sagelynn, Izack, Chrystal, Marcus, James, Nonia, Laighton and Kyla.
Penny grew up in Beaver City and graduated from B.C.H.S in 1970. She earned a Christian Ed. Certificate in 1975 at Nebraska Christian College in Norfolk, where she and Mike met. 24 years later she went back to college and earned an Early Child Care Ed. Degree from Central Community College.
Besides Norfolk, Penny and Mike also lived in Kansas, Iowa, and Indiana before settling in the Grand Island area in 1989. Penny loved teaching children and worked at CCC in the Child Care Education dept. for 13 years and taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School for many years.
An avid reader who loved Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen and other mystery writings, Penny also enjoyed collecting cookbooks and trying out some of the recipes she found in them. She was also particularly fond of word puzzle books and enjoyed bargain hunting at garage sales. Travelling and sightseeing were also two of her favorite activities. Besides visiting the majority of the lower 48 states and Hawaii, Penny and Mike also visited Canada, Mexico, Germany, France, and Greece.
Penny became a Christian at the age of 11, and her faith has been her anchor for her entire life. Penny was a member of Third City Christian Church.
She was preceded in death by her father, LaVerne Bates. Penny will always be remembered by family and friends for her sense of humor and her never-give-up spirit.
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Published by The Grand Island Independent on Apr. 11, 2013.