Ralph John Van Wagner, age 88 of Skanee, MI passed away on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at Bayside Village in L'Anse, MI.
He was born December 27, 1930 in Stambaugh, MI son of Floyd and Stella (Saxon) Van Wagner. Ralph was in the US Air Force from 1951-55 during the Korean War where he was a flight engineer and mechanic on B29s. A highlight of his Air Force career was riding on the Enola Gay when it was returned to his base to be restored. He graduated from L'Anse High School in 1969. He married the former Rose Busakowski on September 29, 1956 in Iron River, MI. Ralph was a foreman at Celotex, retiring in 1989.
He was a member of Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, American Legion Post 144 for 64 years serving in many positions including State Dept. Sergeant of Arms, 5th Zone Commander, Post Commander, Post Vice Commander, Committee Man, and Sons of the American Legion, Former Assistant Chief for the Stambaugh Fire Dept., and 25 years on the L'Anse Fire Department. Ralph enjoyed fishing, hunting, wood-working and spending time with his grandchildren. Although Ralph was not a carpenter by trade, he took pride in building his log home on Huron Bay.
Surviving are his wife Rose Van Wagner of Skanee; children Jan (Donald) Schneider of Chicago, Jon (Ginger) Van Wagner of L'Anse, Jill Anderson of Newberry, MI, Jodi Van Wagner of Rothschild, WI; grandchildren, Jessica, Thomas (Andrea), Samantha (Chip), Jeremy (Kelsey), Mitchel (Teala), Alex, Megan (Justin); and great-grandchildren Jenna, Michael, and Ryan Anderson; sister-in-law Mary Ann Van Wagner; numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death are his parents; son-in-law Michael Anderson; brothers Marvin (Phyllis) and Floyd Jr; sister Anna Mae (Louis) Misoni, nephew Mark Misoni.
A funeral mass will be held on Saturday, December 7th at 12:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church with Fr. Corey Litzner officiating. Visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services. The L'Anse Fire Dept. will conduct a service at 11:30 a.m. followed by military rites at 11:45 a.m. by Baraga County Area Veterans. Burial will be in the spring in the Skanee Cemetery. The Jacobson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Friends may sign Ralph's guest book or send condolences at www.jacobsonfuneralhome.com.