Obituaries for Nov. 8, 2012
Michael Grafton "Mike" Wagner
Mr. Wagner, 77, of Nashville, died Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012, at Baptist Hospital after suffering a stroke. He was born in Greenville, Ohio, in 1935. He graduated from high school in Eaton, Ohio, in 1953. He graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1957, where he earned his BA with a double major in history and political science. Wagner was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity.
Following his college graduation he immediately went to work for the Henny Penny Corporation, a company founded by his parents, where he helped grow the company into a worldwide restaurant equipment manufacturer. In 1972, two years after the death of his father, the company was sold to the employees.
He continued to work in the restaurant equipment industry for the rest of his career. He was a natural sales man and thrived in the trade show environment. Wagner was on the founding committee for the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM). In 1976-78, he served as the Finance Chairman for the Tennessee Republican Party. He was an avid book collector, gun enthusiast and world traveler. He was a member of the National Rifle Association, as well as the National Geographic Society. He flew a single engine plane and earned his pilot’s license.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Mary and Chester Wagner, and his son, Kurt Wagner. He is survived by his children, Chuck (Susan) Wagner, Krista (Frank) Pate, Kayne (Nathan) Storey, Gretchen (Rodney) Borders and Gray (Cherie) Wagner; grandchildren, Stewart Wagner, Paige Wagner, Addison (Brigette) Pate, Braden Pate, Chelsea (Andrew) Haire, Drew Pate, Kreig Storey, Natalie Storey, Cort Borders, Bailey Borders, Cassy Robinson, Jessy Wagner, Graycie Wagner and Lila Wagner; and great-grandchildren, Preslie Mercier and Jaxon Wagner.
His final act of kindness was provided to the Vanderbilt Anatomical Donation Program. He requested no memorial service. Donations in his honor can be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund, the American Cancer Society, or the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. He was a good man and he will be missed.