Bruce Dewayne Wagner, 71, took his last breath on earth and his first breath in Heaven on Saturday January 6, 2024, with his 3 daughters and his ex-wife by his side. He was born November 19, 1952, at Camp Carson, Colorado, the son of Wilbur C. and Patricia J. (Rebarchek) Wagner.
Bruce had many occupations from a carpenter at Cape Canaveral Kennedy Space Center Florida, migrant work as a pepper picker in Florida, a firefighter to name just a few. He started his medical career as an LPN and was going on to get his RN when a friend encouraged him to go to school to become a Physician Assistant. Bruce received his Bachelor in Health Sciences in 1985 from Wichita State University in Wichita, KS. He started his career as a Physician Assistant with the Federal government with over 30 years with the Veteran’s Administration. During one of his rotations of his PA program, he met his future wife Sandy Friedley in McPherson, KS. when he was doing his rural medicine rotation. On August 27, 1986, Bruce and Sandy were married in Leavenworth, KS. They were blessed with three daughters, Aubree, Larissa and Shiloh.
Bruce started his career in Leavenworth, KS at the Federal Penitentiary, then at the V.A. in Shreveport, Louisiana, the V.A. at Fort Lyon, Colorado, and finished his career at the V.A. in Lincoln, Nebraska. In 2018, Bruce and Sandy decided to part ways but soon realized that they could still be good friends.
Bruce loved everything outdoors, camping, mountain climbing, bicycling. He was a marathon runner, cross country skier, loved downhill skiing, volunteered to clear mountain trails in Colorado for several summers. He shared this love for the outdoors with his daughters and took them on many adventures around the world. Bruce also volunteered at his church, Lincoln Berean with AWANA (youth) for many years. There were many mission trips to Haiti to help build orphanages. He was a reading mentor with elementary students. Bruce went to Israel many times where he took classes studying the Bible. Bruce had a heart to serve mankind all over the world. He was a great provider for his patients and to those that he met throughout his life. He had a love for Jesus and would share the gospel with anyone who was willing to listen.
At age 66, Bruce was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. Bruce understood all too well what that diagnosis meant as his mother died of complications of Alzheimer’s. This diagnosis is awful as it slowly steals all those precious memories of a life well lived.
Survivors include his ex-wife, Sandy of McPherson, KS; daughter Aubree Behm (Nick) of Rasmey, MN and grandchildren Remmington, Arabelle, and Liberty; daughter Larissa Lucero (Nathan) of Tomball, TX. and granddaughter Rhema; daughter Shiloh Risetter (Megan) of Lino Lakes, MN and grandchildren Wrenley and Hendrix; brother Gary Wagner of Bettendorf, Iowa; sister Vicki Bojorquez of Lake Ozark, MO; and many relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Wilbur & Patricia Wagner, brother Craig Wagner, brother-in-law Viktor Bojorquez, sister and brother-in-law Connie (Friedley) and Tim Oglesby, mother-in-law Pauline Friedley; grandsons Zachary & Max Behm.
Bruce will be laid to rest with a private graveside service January 20th, 2024, at McPherson Cemetery, McPherson, KS.
There will be a Celebration of Life at 11:00 AM, Saturday, April 20, 2024, at Lincoln Berean Church in Lincoln, NE.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to People's City Mission (Lincoln, NE) in care of Stockham Family Funeral Home, 205 N. Chestnut, McPherson, KS 67460.