William “Willie” J. Wagner, Jr., 69 years of age, and a resident of Amherst, passed away Thursday, September 30, 2021, at Main Street Town Center in Avon.
He was born April 20, 1952 in Bowling Green, Ohio. Willie was raised in Sandusky before moving to Amherst in 1965 where he had made his home for the last fifty-six years. He graduated from Marion L. Steele in Amherst with the class of 1970. Education was an important part of his life, he received his Associates Degree in Psychology from LCCC, his Bachelors in Science from Bowling Green University, his teaching degree from Cleveland State University, and his Masters of Education in 2002 form Mary Grove College.
He was employed as a special education teacher with the Elyria City Schools until 2010. Willie was also employed as a teacher's aide working with special needs children with the Amherst School Systems. He spent his entire life teaching and assisting children with emotional disabilities. Despite the trials and long days he endured at that job, he never wavered in providing support, humor, and love to his friends and family. Willie brought out the best in all of us without trying and continues to even now. Whenever you’re around him, you just feel lucky to know him.
His entire life, he has been a kind, compassionate, giving person to everyone he meets. We’ve never heard someone say an unkind word about his character. To so many he has been a kind heart to confide in, a source of strength, a quick wit who brings warmth to any room he enters, and the best dad we could’ve ever asked for. He shared those qualities without reservation, as well as his love of Peanuts, music (everything from Yes to System of a Down), his family, and Christmas.
Survivors include his loving wife of thirty-three years, Carol J. Wagner (nee: Lence); his sons John Mathhew Grandetti (Ashley) of Springboro, Samuel Jacob Wagner and Walter Joseph Wagner both of Cleveland; his grandchildren Eleanor and Audrey Grandetti; his siblings Matthew Wagner, Patti Wagner and Cathie Lambur (Rick) all of Amherst.
He was preceded in death by his parents William J. Wagner, Sr. in 2011 and Joann (Sharp) in 2019; his brothers Michael in 2016, Walter ”Buzz” in 1978 and John Steven in 2013.
Public visitation for family and friends will be held on Thursday, October 7, 2021 from 5-8 p.m. at Hempel Funeral Home, Amherst. Closing Prayers will be held Friday at 9:45 a.m. at the funeral home followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. at Nativity Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church; 333 South Lake Street, South Amherst. Rebroadcasting of services will be available at http://www.hempelfuneralhome.com/. The Rev. Fr. Timothy O’Connor, pastor will officiate. Burial will follow at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Amherst.
The family suggests that memorial contributions be made to St. Jude’s Children's Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or Nativity BVM Catholic Church, 333 South Lake Street, South Amherst, OH 44001 or the Lorain County Metro Parks. 12882 Diagonal Road, LaGrange, OH 44050.
Please visit the funeral home's website to share a memory and sign the guest register, www.hempelfuneralhome.com.
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