The family of John T. Wagner is saddened to announce that Jack passed away on Aug. 14, 2022, of natural causes,  surrounded by people who loved him dearly. 

Jack was born on March 21, 1933, in the “Frog Hollow Section” of Elizabeth, N.J. He was one of three boys, including older brother Charles (Bill) and younger brother, Richard. He attended St. Patrick’s Grammar School and Thomas Jefferson High School.

He and his family spent summers in Ocean Gate, N.J. where he met his future wife, Delores (Betty) Wilhelm.

Jack proudly served in the U.S. Navy, and was attached to an aviation squadron during the Korean War. He saw overseas duty in North Africa and had the opportunity to visit many European countries while there.

Jack and Betty married in 1954 and made their home in Philadelphia where they raised four children, Kathy, Susan, Michael and Mary. He attended LaSalle College night school and obtained a degree in finance. He went on to attend the American Bankers Association Graduate School of Banking.

Jack began his banking career at the National State Bank of Elizabeth as a janitor and coin wrapper at their Bayway Branch. He retired as vice chairman of the Board of Continental Bank in Philadelphia in 1988. After retirement, he and his wife traveled much of the world. 

Jack developed a love for all things nautical, especially sailing, which he learned on the Toms River and Barnegat Bay. In later years, when he and his wife made their home on St. Thomas’s East End, he sailed the waters around the U.S. and British Virgin Islands.  

In addition to boating, Jack enjoyed woodworking and model railroading. He built everything from furniture to boats.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Isabelle and Bill Wagner; as well as his brothers, Charles (Billy) and Richard; and his beloved wife, Betty, in 2017. He is survived by his children, Kathy Maron (Andy) Dresher, Pa., Susan Kempton (Kevin) of Ocean Gate, Michael Wagner (Katrina) of Florida, Mary Mease (Gary) of Ocean Gate, as well as 10 grandchildren and 12 great- grandchildren.

Visitation will be at Anderson & Campbell Funeral Home in Toms River, N.J., from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 21. A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at St. Joseph’s Church in Toms River, N.J., at 10 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 22.

Interment will be at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Toms River, N.J.  A celebration in honor of Jack will be held at the Ocean Gate Yacht Club, in Ocean Gate, N.J., at 12 p.m., following interment. In lieu of flowers, Jack would like contributions made to the Junior Sailing Program at either Ocean Gate Yacht Club or Brant Beach Yacht Club.

The family would like to express their gratitude to the entire staff at Harrogate Health Center, Lakewood, N.J., for the love and care shown to our father in his final years. The professionals at Harrogate and Holisticare Hospice always treated him as if he was their own father.

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