Obituary of Willis Peter Wagner
HOLY CROSS, IOWA
Willis P. “Willie” Wagner, 84, of Holy Cross passed away Thursday, August 17, 2023, at Ellen Kennedy Living Center in Dyersville.
Visitation will be held from 3 – 7 pm on Sunday, August 20, 2023, at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Holy Cross. Visitation will continue at the church from 9:30 – 10:30 am prior to the funeral mass.
A Mass of Christian will be held at 10:30 am on Monday, August 21, 2023, at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Holy Cross, with burial in the church cemetery. Rev. Tyler Raymond will officiate.
Willis was born on July 31, 1939, in Luxemburg, the son of Aloysius and Bernita (Meyer) Wagner. He married Janice Clemen on November 19, 1960, in Holy Cross. Willie worked at John Deere Dubuque Works for 30 years and retired from there in 1990. Before he joined the Holy Cross Fire Department in 1967, he served for two years on the New Vienna Fire Department. He got involved because was young and wanted to belong to something.
Over his tenure he served as assistant chief for 5 years, as chief for 23 years, Chairman of Civil Defense/Emergency Management and was also on the Dubuque County 911 Board for 12 years. He served the Holy Cross/NBV Fire and EMS for a total of 44 years, retiring in 2011.
He received the Governor’s Volunteer Award in 2009, a Certificate of Recognition from the Iowa State Senate in 2011 and was inducted into the Dubuque County Fire Association’s “Hall of Flame” in 2012. In addition to his service in the fire and EMS realms he volunteered in the Holy Cross community with the park, parish, and snow removal. This morphed into helping many others clear their driveways. If anyone needed a hand, they could count on Willie.
Willie was a good friend who thoroughly enjoyed having coffee, playing cards uptown, dancing to a waltz or polka, going on car cruises, and spending time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren.
He took great pride in using his gifts to serve others to the fullest of his abilities. He was a great collaborator in any endeavor that could benefit everyone by making a positive difference with love. He was passionate and compassionate man who will be dearly missed by everyone.
Survivors include his wife, Janice, children: Sharon (Dan) Faber of Cascade, Thomas (Tammy) Wagner of Cedar Rapids, Linda (Gary) Ellerbach of Ely, Lisa (Clyde) Hefel of North Buena Vista, Laurie (Dave) Baliff of Potosi, WI and Deb (Greg) McMahon of East Dubuque, IL, grandchildren: Josh, Zach and Matt Faber, Danielle and Olivia Wagner, Dalton (Nikki) and Skylar (fiancé, Miranda Redalen) Ellerbach, Alyssa Hefel, Connor and Chase McMahon, Jenna and Luke Baliff; great grandchildren: Harper and Hayden Ellerbach; siblings: Rosemary (Roland) Hoeger of St. Olaf, Kay (Earl) Kluesner of Luxemburg and John (Donna) Wagner of Luxemburg; in-laws: Patricia Clemen of Holy Cross, Loras Clemen of Dubuque, Cathy (Don) Keppler of Manchester, Linda Clemen of Colesburg and Dale (Carol) Clemen of Dubuque.
He was preceded in death by his parents, in-laws: Vernon Clemen, Germaine (Marvin) Gaul, Jerome Clemen, Darlene Clemen and Francis Clemen.
Memorials are preferred to the Holy Cross/NBV Fire Department and EMS.
The family sincerely wants to thank everyone at the Ellen Kennedy Living Center for everything supportive they have done for our family.
Kramer Funeral Home in Dyersville is assisting the family and information is available at www.kramerfuneral.com. Memorials may be sent to the family, (in care of Kramer Funeral Home) 750 12th Ave SW, Dyersville, IA 52040.