In Memory

Michael Wagner

Michael Wagner

Dr. Michael Andrew Wagner, beloved father, brother, grandfather, and husband, unexpectedly passed away on Sunday, August 25th, 2019, at the age of 65.

Michael was born on August 19th, 1954 in Phoenix, AZ to Arthur and Helen Wagner, their tenth and youngest child. He graduated cum laude from Arizona State University in 1976, and received his medical degree from the University of Arizona in Tucson in 1981. Michael met his first wife, Arlene "Cooky" Handler, as an intern at Maricopa County Hospital. He moved to California for his residency at UC Irvine in 1982 and married Cooky on June 10th, 1984. They raised two sons, Alex and Andrew (AJ), and a daughter, Carly in Long Beach, CA. He and his family moved again to Roscoe, IL when Cooky became ill with cancer. After Cooky's death in 2012, Michael remarried to Felicia Cannegieter on July 8th, 2016, and adopted Felicia's two sons, Austin and Nathan. He practiced ophthalmology for 26 years, and after retiring moved back to Phoenix, AZ in 2018.

Michael was a dedicated servant to his family and the community. A devout Catholic, he was a man of faith, integrity, compassion, and resolve. He was loved for his great and humble intelligence, goofy sense of humor, and infectious personality. He was an avid golfer, and would often share this hobby with his family and friends. Despite his proficiency, his focus was always on everyone having a good time. He also enjoyed running, racquetball, hiking, boating, and philosophy. Michael's greatest joy came from returning to Phoenix to live out his retirement surrounded by his family. He is deeply missed by those closest to him.

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08/29/19 05:42 AM #1    

Kenneth Murphy, COL, Us Army (Ret) (Murphy)

Mike was always a very nice guy at Camelback and went on to have a great life from what I know. Prayers...

08/29/19 11:38 AM #2    

Al Vanden Heuvel

Mike and I did many things together in High School.  Ski trips, trips to Mexico, Ski Club on campus.  Way to many beers and parties to remember.   Hangin with his brothers.  Learning to drive, hangin at Kurts house with Randy R and Terry W.  Very sad to have him leave us so soon!

Love You Mike!

08/29/19 05:19 PM #3    

Dave Snider

With all the talk about the 50th Anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon I have thought about Mike often this summer.  I was in the Wagner living room at their house on 24th Street, south of Campbell, with his family and other friends watching the event on TV.   I was looking forward to sharing that memory with him at some point… rest-in-peace Mike.

09/04/19 05:31 PM #4    

Pete Playman

I had known Mike from kindergarten on up but we were destined to meet before we were born.

Mike was the youngest of 10 children and I was the youngest of 7. Our parents lived next store to one another in the 40s in a small town of Fond Du Lac Wisconsin. Our older siblings hung out with one another, went to the same school and members of the same Parish. When our folks migrated to Arizona a new generation was born. Like our siblings before us we went to school together and to the same church. We did our share of kid’s stuff at Saint Thomas grade school shooting hoop baseball and we played on our football team too. Mike was a terrific friend all through high school.

I hadn’t seen him since our 10-year class reunion. We lost touched for a while but I finally located him in Illinois. When I heard he was moving back to Arizona last year I was pretty jazzed and was looking forward to reconnecting

 February of 2019, he requested to come out to our house to ride old restored Schwinn bikes.  What a trip riding paper boy bikes together again like kids.

 After our ride home we said our goodbyes but promised to hook up soon: but before he left, I had to asked him the Million-dollar question. What is it like to be a doctor and perform such a great service helping people with their eye site? He simply and proudly said ….it is awesome.

 We continue to touch base and did some texting to set up a repeat lunch date with Janice Hennessey and when all three of us finally found the right date in September that would work for all of us, it was the following day after the confirmation that he left peacefully to meet his maker.

It took a while to hook up and reconnect again after 30 plus years but I did fulfill a want. It just wasn’t long enough.

 Mike was an all-around guy in so many ways. I will miss him a lot. Peace Brother.

09/05/19 09:24 AM #5    

Lou Ann Kane (Motter)

What a beautiful tribute to your dear friend Peter.  Thank you for helping me remember him so fondly.

09/27/19 06:34 PM #6    

Janice Hennessey (Lamparter)

What can I say.  I had known Mike since kindergarten at St. Thomas and through Camelback.  I headed down to Mazatlan after graduation from Camelback with Donna Hurguy and lo and behold, Mike was on the same train with many other Camelback grads.

Pete Playman surprised me a few months ago by inviting Mike to a lunch that Pete and I had set up.  As I walked into the restaurant, I saw someone sitting at the bar.  He turned and I knew immediately that it was Mike.  He had not changed at all.  OK, a little gray like the rest of us, but he looked great.  We had a wonderful lunch, sitting and talking for over three hours.

Pete, Mike and I finally got another lunch set up that we could all be at.  Two days later, Mike unexpectedly passed.  Pete and I decided to keep that date which was today, September 27th.  Mike's wife joined us and we again talked about what an incredible person Mike was.  So here's to you Mike!  To a life well lived and loved.  Rest in Peace my Friend.

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