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John F. Wagner

April 14, 1927 June 15, 2016
John F. Wagner
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Obituary for John F. Wagner

Wagner, John F. U. S. Navy Veteran

Beloved husband of Clara (nee Hetmaski) and the late Florence (nee Friedrich).
Devoted father of Gail (Vince) Thomalla, Kathy (Ike) Reketis, Karen (Keith) Wenstrand, Janet CPD (Kelly Ret CPD) Comiskey, and Jack (Edith) Wagner.
Loving step-father of Nick Hetmanski, and Susan (Art) Kuh.
Cherished grandfather of Andie (Will) Cavedo, Karl Thomalla, Jill (Ryan) Sorensen, Brian (Krystin) Reketis, Michael (Jessica) Reketis, Luke Reketis, Carrie Wenstrand, Ian (Jill) Wenstrand, Eric Wenstrand, Erin (James) McKnight, Kevin (Carly) Comiskey, Patrick (Dana) Comiskey, John Wagner, Edward Wagner, Leanne Hetmanski, Nick (Dana) Hetmanski Jr., Art (Martha) Kuh, and Gregory (Emily) Kuh.
Adored great-grandfather of Graham, Emma, Makenzie, Anders, Elise, Ryan, Matthew, Jonathan, Audrey, Shepard, and Isla.
Dear brother of Gertrude Radostits, Louise Pitluck, Caroline Hecker, Helen (Arthur) Kuh, Mildred Willis, Robert Wagner, Marie (George) Purpura, Barbara (Alan) Hess, Susan (Joseph) Uildriks and the late Edward.
Kind brother-in-law of Anna Wagner, John (Peggy) Evanchik, Joseph Evanchik and the late Emil Radostits, Andrew Pitluck, Raymond Hecker, and Richard Willis.
Fond uncle of many nieces, nephews, cousins, and other beloved family members.

John graduated from Tilden Technical High School in Chicago in 1945. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in April 1945 and served as a Seaman First Class out of Bremerton, Washington and Astoria, Oregon at the close of WWII. He was honorably discharged in 1946.

After brief stints as barker with a French-Canadian circus and a laborer for the Tucker Automobile Company, John found his life’s work with the Peoples Gas Light and Coke Co. on the south side of Chicago. He began as a ditch digger, and by the time he retired in 1989, he had been a district supervisor for many years. He worked hard every single day, never called in sick over his 40 + years of service, mentored countless new employees, and even helped the company prosecute notorious gas thieves. He was always proud to be a “gas man”.

After he retired, John pursued his two lifelong passions; art and music. He took art classes at Moraine Valley Community College where he won awards. He exhibited his art at the Oak Forest Acorn Library. He made art every day and leaves behind a massive collection of sketches, drawings, paintings, multimedia work and “Doodlebirds”.

For almost 40 years, John played the bass fiddle and was the lead singer for the Merrymakers, performing at weddings and parties across Chicago’s south side. After retirement, he discovered the joys of singing karaoke, and he and Clara made the rounds of many south suburban venues for Karaoke Night. His final karaoke performance was at the Tinley Park VFW in April, when he was still well enough to sing a few songs. C’mon JW, you’re up next!

Visitation Monday 3-9 p.m.

Funeral Service Tuesday 10:00 the Robert J. Sheehy & Sons Funeral Home, 9000 W. 151st Street, Orland Park, IL.

Interment Mt. Greenwood Cemetery

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to create an art scholarship in John’s name at Moraine Valley Community College, 9000 College Pkwy, Palos Hills, IL 60465. 708-857-7878

Previous Events





3:00 PM 6/20/2016 3:00:00 PM - 9:00 PM 6/20/2016 9:00:00 PM
Robert J. Sheehy & Sons Funeral Home - Orland Park

9000 W. 151st St.
Orland Park, IL 60462

Robert J. Sheehy & Sons Funeral Home - Orland Park
9000 W. 151st St. Orland Park 60462 IL
United States





10:00 AM 6/21/2016 10:00:00 AM
Robert J. Sheehy & Sons Funeral Home - Orland Park

9000 W. 151st St.
Orland Park, IL 60462

Robert J. Sheehy & Sons Funeral Home - Orland Park
9000 W. 151st St. Orland Park 60462 IL
United States

Cemetery Details




United States

Memorial Contribution

John Wagner Art Scholarship c/o Moraine Valley Community College

9000 College Pkwy.
Palos Hills, IL 60465

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