He was born Aug. 26, 1937, in Illinois, to James Ernest and Thelma Josephine (Whitehead) Wagner. He grew up in St. Bernice, Ind., and graduated from St. Bernice High School with the class of 1955. Following high school, he began driving a truck for a living. James married Sharon K. Swinford June 6, 1963. He worked for several different trucking companies including Schwerman, Wabash Valley and most recently Moon Freight Line, where he retired in 1989. In his younger years he enjoyed hunting, fishing and spending time outdoors. Recently, he has spent most of his free time bowling, watching Ryan Newman race NASCAR and spending time with his grandkids. He has had many accomplishments with bowling including a 300 game and the 700 club. He was a member of Teamsters Local 135, Wabash Valley Men's Bowling Association. He also coached the Wabash Valley High School Travel League in Bowling for Northview High School.
He was preceded in death by his father James.
Survivors include his wife Sharon, Brazil, children Marcie (Bob) Martin, Stacie (JP) Perry, Robert (Vicki) Wagner, Lisa (Bill) Drake and Scott (Balinda) Wagner, grandchildren David Spears, Robert Martin III, Amanda (Eric) Sanders, Stephanie Martin, Julie Vuono, Raedawn Perry, Elijah Perry, Isaiah Perry, RJ Wagner, Tiffany Drake, Billy Drake, Bobby Drake, Abigail Coffin, Lacey Cooksey, Nicholas Wagner and Brieanna Wagner, great-grandchildren Parker Spears and Devon Sanders, mother Thelma Jo Wagner, sister Mary Jo Ponder as well as a large extended family and his two pets Chrystal and Candy.
Funeral Services will be at French Funeral Home Sunday, at 6 p.m. Visitation will be at the French Funeral Home Sunday, Dec. 20, 2009, from 2 p.m. until time of services. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Wabash Valley Junior Bowlers Scholarship Fund.
Visit www.frenchfuneralhome.com to light a candle in his memory.