Robert James Wagner was born on September 29, 1930 in Benton Harbor, Michigan. He was the second of five sons, and when his older brother, Henry (Hank) left for WWII, he assumed the responsibility of taking care of his three younger brothers, Jack, Harry, and Wilmer (Moose). His only sister, Nora, survives. The family moved to Cleveland in 1943 where he resided for most of his life.
Robert worked as a tile setter most of his life; however he became a master craftsman, working on many of the grand houses in the Cleveland Heights area where he lived for many years. A collector of antiques, he was also and avid reader and his self-taught knowledge of building and architecture was something he shared with his children. But if you asked Robert who he was, he would refer to his paintings. They were his life's work. His talent was first discovered by a teacher in 7th grade who attempted to get him into an art school. But the war came and he had to quit school and work. But he never quit painting. He lived his life to the fullest. He spent his last years in the Ashtabula area, especially Saybrook, where he enjoyed visits with his great-grandchildren and watched the turkeys and deer parade past his window.
He will be greatly missed by his sons, Michael and Claude (Katie), and his daughters, Celeste and Camille and his son-in-law, Scott Axton; his grandchildren, Amelia, Danielle (James), Tessa (Jordan) Philip, Jessica, Anthony, Felicia, Claudia, and Veronica; his great-grandchildren, Lily, Beckett, Sonny, Dorothy, Colin, Pierce, Brooklyn, Ella, Millie, and Preston.
Robert was a man of solitude and requested no services. He was greatly loved and will be greatly missed.
Ducro Funeral Services and Crematory, 4524 Elm Ave., Ashtabula is handling arrangements. Online obituary and condolences at www.ducro.com