Fernley R. Wagner, Jr., Flying Hills, reported for his eternal patrol on January 25, 2022.
He is survived by his wife Sara R. (Weller). They celebrated their 70th anniversary on August 25, 2021.
“Pint” was born Oct. 28, 1933, son of Fernley R. and Hazel E. (Quigley) Wagner, Sr. He attended Pottstown area schools up to 10th grade and graduated Boyertown High School, class of 1951. In his junior year he joined the Naval Reserves. He was a laborer at Stanley Flagg Co. after high school. In February 1952 he was called to active duty serving on the USS Rushmore. He returned to Sanatoga in 1953 and was employed at Kawecki Chemical Co. and Firestone until returning to regular naval service in 1956.
He saw active duty on the USS Sea Owl, awarded the coveted “Submarine Dolphins” breast pin. After graduation from the Basic Enlisted Submarine Nuclear Power School at New London, CT in 1958, he trained at the Navy Nuclear Power Training Unit at West Milton, New York. He was a commissioned crew member aboard the USS Sea Dragon at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery ME, followed by an assignment as a member of the commissioning crew of the ill fated USS Thresher. While attached to the Thresher, he achieved the rate of Chief Machinist Mate. Prior to the Thresher being lost at sea, he was assigned to the USS Haddo where he was commissioned Ensign, October 1964.
His naval service continued with service aboard USS Fulton and USS Hunley. Between sea duty assignments, Pint served two tours in Viet Nam – awarded a Bronze Star Medal with V for river patrol combat in the Mekong Delta during his first tour of Viet Nam, and a Navy Achievement Medal for his second tour in Viet Nam. Lt. Cmdr Wagner concluded naval service as a ship superintendent for cruiser overhauls at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.
After the Navy, he was a Field Service Representative with DeLaval Condenser Division, Florence NJ. He was later transferred to the Turbine/Pump Division at Trenton, NJ. Both these positions involved extensive travel both in the United States and overseas. He retired from DeLaval in 1995.
He was a life member of the United States Submarine Veterans Inc. (SubVets) and a Life member of the Military Officers Association. He served several years as base commander for the Reading Base SubVets.
Pint and Sara loved going to Disney World, visiting since the opening in 1972 and made it into a family reunion on many occasions. The most recent trip was December 2021 for the resort’s 50th anniversary, where 35 members of the family met and enjoyed the magic. His legacy at Disney will live on through future family trips.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by their six children – Jay (Yvonne), Glenn (Dawn), Lynn Burkett, Dawn (Keith) Leister, Craig (Andrea), Jill Stahre. He is also survived by 12 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren, a sister, Beverly, widow of Marion Kunitsky, and a brother, John (Donna).
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 19, 2022 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1749 S. Main St., Bechtelsville, PA 19505. Visitation from 10 to 11am followed by a service at 11am. Internment will be private. Arrangements are under Dengler Funeral Home, Birdsboro, PA.
In lieu of flowers,, the family requests memorial donations to the Trinity Lutheran Church Building Fund.
The family thanks The Reading Hospital and Tower Health at Home Hospice.