Richard “Rich” Lee Wagner, 79, of Centralia, Wash., passed away Wednesday, Dec 30, 2020, from complications brought on by COVID-19. He was born May 1, 1941, in Centralia, Wash., the son of Carl and Dorothy Wagner. Growing up with his six siblings on Ford's Prairie. Richard graduated from Napavine High School. In 1962, he began his long career as a Union Glazier in Boise, Idaho.
On April 18, 1964, Rich married Katherine (Kathy) Wilcox in Centralia, Wash. After a brief life in Idaho, he and Kathy eventually settled for the next 20 years in the Silver Lake area of Everett, Wash. In the late 1980s, Rich and Kathy fulfilled their dream of purchasing the family farm in Centralia, Wash., where both eventually retired. They spent countless hours remodeling the farmhouse and the farm, converting it into a wonderful place to visit. Rich and Kathy were always known for opening their home to any guest that would arrive and they truly enjoyed the company of others.
Early in his glazing career, Rich found himself in leadership roles and was known for being a real mechanic of his trade. He was a proud member of Glaziers Local 188 for 58 years. Many of those years was working at KRK Glass in Bothell, Wash., which were his fondest due to the lifelong friends he made there. His greatest joy was being able train younger glaziers in his tradecraft. It was commonplace for him to have Apprentices and younger Journeymen at his house during the week for work talks and dinner, usually these visits included pulls off of a Canadian whiskey bottle. He spent similar quality time with many of his nephews and other family friends. He truly enjoyed sharing his knowledge with younger men and being a mentor.
Along with the love of his tradecraft and his farm was a passion for the outdoors, especially hunting. Hunting with Rich was always an experience that so many have fond memories of, even the unsuccessful hunts were truly enjoyable experiences. A trophy was something he sought after, but food in the freezer was always his end goal and he usually achieved that goal. In the woods and marshes was where Rich was always the most comfortable.
Rich was preceded in death by the love of his life, Kathy; his parents; sister, Shirlee Mill; and brother, Roger Wagner.
He is survived by his daughter, Christine Leis (Patrick); and son, Douglas Wagner (Julie); seven grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren; his sister and brothers, Jane Briske, Jerry Wagner, Thomas Wagner, and Ronald Wagner; and his brother-in-law, Darrol Wilcox Jr.
A celebration of life may be planned in the future once we can safely gather and avoid putting other's health at risk. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, please make donations in Rich's memory to: The Alzheimer's Association @ www.alz.org/donate OR the ANEW Pre-Apprenticeship Training and Assistance Program @ www.anewaop.org/make-a-donation/