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Albert Wagner Jr.February 1, 1947 ~ September 18, 2016 (age 69)
With family gathered around him, Albert LeRoy Ralph Wagner Jr., 69, breathed his last breath here on earth at 5:23 a.m., Sunday, September 18th, 2016 in the home where he lived with his best friend and “brother Josiah” for the past 16 years in rural Rockford. He is now walking the golden streets admiring God’s gardens and sitting next to the still waters, probably with a fishing pole in hand, and basking in his Savior's presence.
Al was born and raised on the east side of Aurora, IL, attending Sacred Heart for elementary school, then Waldo Jr. High and finally East Aurora High School, graduating in the class of 1965. Al was a Tomcat football letterman.
Al served honorably in the United States Airforce from 1966-1970 spending considerable time stationed at Takhli Royal Thai Air Force base during the Vietnam War. Al learned much about electronics and the technologies of the day during his tour and returned home to work at many a TV repair shop in his lifetime. He finished his BS degree at Northern Illinois University in 1974.
An avid outdoorsman, his entire life, Al enjoyed camping, hunting, gardening, racing homing pigeons and fishing with his family and friends. He won the Zebco fishing contest in February 1972 for the biggest walleye caught in the state of Wisconsin. No fish story this time. This was a real beauty that he hauled out of Lake Geneva in the wee hours of the morning! Al’s trophy fish weighed in at 14 lbs. 6 oz and measured 33 inches from tip to tail. She graced the walls of his various homes no matter where he moved over his lifetime! From his first loft in Aurora to his last in Rockford, Al’s pigeons raced and won countless competitions. The records that he kept and the lineage lines that he managed through his extensive knowledge are truly amazing things that will continue on and on!
So many are blessed to say that Al taught us something about God’s creation, how to enjoy it, manage it, and pass it on to the next generations. When out and about Al would often be heard saying, “Leave this place better than you found it.” As a proud veteran and outdoor enthusiast, we can definitely say that Al did just that with his life.
Al is survived by 6 children and 12 grandchildren.
His cremains will be laid to rest at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery located in Elwood, IL on October 10, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.