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Francis A. Wagner


Francis (Fran) A. Wagner, 93, a longtime resident of Clayton, died Thursday morning, May 24, 2012, at Kingsway Community, Schenectady, where he had resided since December 2011.

He was born in Clayton on November 25, 1918, son of Norman P. and Carrie Kempney Wagner. He attended St. Mary’s Catholic School in Clayton.

On September 6, 1945, he and Shirley A. Cramer were married at Holy Family Church, Watertown.

As a boy, he worked summers as a caddie at the Clayton Golf Club with his brother Bob. From 1932 – 1937, Fran was employed as a clerk for C. J. Cerow & Son then went to work for Warner Knitting Mill until 1942, where he had become a supervisor. His skill in electronics lead him to work for eight years for Stan Hungerford at Hungerford’s Hardware where he repaired all manner of home appliances. He started his own business, Wagner’s Radio & TV Repair, in 1950 and operated it until his retirement in 1980. He was well known throughout the area for his ability, his honesty and his humor.

Francis was a communicant of St. Mary’s Church. He was a member of both the Rotary and Lion’s Clubs in Clayton and played in several golf leagues, including the Men’s Twilight League. He loved to play the banjo. Fran often played at local events, including the Lion’s Roar in the 1970s and numerous shows at the Clayton Opera House. He was very skilled with his hands. He built the house on State Street in which he and Shirley raised their family. He could repair anything electrical and mechanical. He enjoyed working in his workshop caning chairs, crafting miniature chairs and working on other projects. He was an avid deer hunter and fisherman. He loved the Adirondacks and spent many days enjoying itsbeauty. He enjoyed gardening and would provide the family with vegetables and delectable canned tomatoes. Many will remember him for his quick wit and good sense of humor. He loved trading barbs at the Koffee Kove with his many friends there. His love of life will be missed by all those who knew him.

Besides his beloved wife of 66 years, Shirley, Fran is survived by his four children, John H. and wife, Gail, Hamlin, Jane A. Wagner and husband Richard Lasky, Latham, David F. and wife, Beth, Ocala, FL, and Steven R. and wife, Deb, Halfmoon; six grandchildren; sister-in-law Rozelma Wagner, Bristol VA, sister-in-law and brother-in law Margery and Milain Smith, Watertown; numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins, including Norma and Denis Savage, Brockville, ON and Helen Glenn, New Bremen. His four brothers, Michael, Anslem, Richard, and Robert and his two sisters, Bernice LaLonde and Margaret Gove, died before him.

The family would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of those in Clayton who did so much to help Francis in his later years, especially Irene Orvis.

Calling hours will be held at Cummings Funeral Service, Inc., Clayton, on Tuesday, May 29, from 4 - 7PM. A prayer service will be held at the funeral home on Wednesday, May 30, at 10:15AM with a funeral mass following at St. Mary’s Church at 11AM with Rev. Arthur LaBaff officiating. Burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to Thousand Islands Emergency Rescue Squad (TIERS), PO Box 524, or the Thousand Islands Museum, 312 James St., both in Clayton, NY 13624.

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