Bruce Ronald Wagner


Bruce Ronald Wagner
November 6, 1938 – August 21, 2019


Bruce Ronald Wagner went home to be with the Lord on August 21, 2019 at the age of 80.

Bruce was born to Herman and Alice Wagner on November 6, 1938 and lived his entire life in the Kern River Valley.

Bruce graduated from Kern Valley High School in 1957. This is where he met the love of his life Shirley Ann Barnes and they later married on October 4, 1958. Bruce and Shirley were married for 60 years. 60 years!!! What a testimony to family and friends. They had four children Daniel, Joseph, Shirlin and Jack…then added numerous others along the way…John Wagner, Patrick Rooney, Larry Doty, Robert Doty, Mary Wagner McGill, Shawn Fowler, Eric Fowler, Shelly Wagner Cormack and Jason Fowler. Their home was always open to anyone and many passed through the doors of the Wagner’s home, some for a short time and others for a lifetime.

In addition to the 13 children named above, they were blessed with 29 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.

After High School, he worked as a miner on Sherman Pass with Gil Embree. He then began working construction. You can see his work in many homes and businesses throughout the Valley. He even helped build the expansion of the original Wofford Heights Foursquare Church, the church that he loved and remained faithful to, to the end.

His work ethic was an example to all who knew him. His knowledge and love of construction was passed on to his family. His sons followed in his footsteps in the Construction business. You always know where the Wagner men are working, as you can hear their laughter that never ends!

Anyone who knew Bruce, knew of his love for the High Country. He tried to spend as much time there as possible. His first trip to the High County was when he was weeks old, and on a pillow in front of his mom riding horseback. While growing up he spent many summers in the High County…later taking his own children to enjoy it. In 1969, he purchased property in Horse Meadow. In 1974, he built a cabin on his property by Salmon Creek. The cabin is a place that the kids, grandkids, family and friends have made so many memories with Bruce and so many stories will be treasured for years to come.

Bruce enjoyed hunting and fishing, but he especially loved it when he got to do this with his kids and grandkids.

Bruce loved to cut wood. You never saw him head to the High County without a chain saw. He would either be cutting wood for the cabin or bringing some home to burn for the winter and/or for his wood cook stove that he used to cook most meals on. Even though he was given a wood splitter, he insisted to continue to split his wood by hand!

Bruce accepted the Lord into his heart on March 4, 1984 and his life was changed forever. His greatest joy was sharing Christ with others. He never judged them, he had a smile, a hug, an encouraging word but most importantly he prayed with and for them all. Bruce was a mighty prayer warrior. He opened the church on Sunday Mornings, walked the building praying for the people that would come, the pastor, the sermon, for hearts to be open and for lives to be changed.

Bruce was always up before the crack of dawn. He said Johnny Price once told him “If you let the sun catch you in bed, you would feel bad all day!!!” That is how Bruce lived, he was up bright and early. Most morning he would go for a walk and pray for his family, country, and community. He would come home eat and then go outside and read the Word (bible).

He demonstrated his love for Christ and others by example, walking in the” Fruit of the Spirit.” Galatians 5:22-23
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Bruce was 80 years old and married for 60 years, what a heritage that is being passed on to all the lives he touched. His wife, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, family and friends, all of whom will have their own special memories of times spent with him (Husband, Dad, Grandpa, Brother-in-Law, Uncle, Nephew, Cousin, Friend…). People will remember his love for: Our Lord and Savior, family, church, High Country, Cabin, hunting, fishing, gold mining, whittling wood, Dutch Oven cooking, storytelling of past and present, holding grandkids, helping and serving others, laughter (Oh the laughter!!!) and prayer. He was a dad to many and a grandpa to many more. The best thing is the story isn’t finished. He left a legacy, a family to continue what God began!!!

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave
with the intention of arriving safely in an
attractive and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in sideways, body
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and
screaming, “WOO HOO, what a ride!”


A Celebration of Life will be held at Faith Community Church, 20 Panorama Dr. Wofford Heights, CA on Saturday September 7, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. The family would like you to join them for a light lunch immediately following the service in the Gymnasium.


Paul - September 19, 2019

Well, that’s really a Hunter S. Thompson quote, but that’s okay. If Bruce owned it, then it’s his. RIP Mr. Wagner.

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