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11-05-02, 06:28 PM #1
James R. "Daddy Wags" Wagner Cookies Tavern Owner, Philly
He was the owner of Cookies Tavern 10th, & Oregon,
South Philadelphia and has hosted the Marine Corps Birthday for over thirty years now.
The Wagner Family members said that the Marine Corps Birthday Party will go on as scheduled for Sunday. The Tavern, too, will remain open, operated by his daughter Marion.
Daddy Wags died on Saturday and had been fighting a brain tumor since January. He was 57 years old.
James Wagner served two tours of duty in Vietnam.
WAGNER JAMES R. ``DADDY WAGS' on Nov. 2, 2002, of Clifton Heights, PA and South Phila., PA; husband of Marguerite J. ``Peggy' (nee DeFeo) Wagner; beloved father of Joyce M. R. (Christopher) Carroll, Marion L. Wagner and Jaime Noel Wagner; beloved grandfather of Catherine Rose Carroll; devoted son of Marion (nee Cook) and the late Raymond Wagner; loving brother of Edward Wagner, Raymond Wagner and Deborah Wagner; loving uncle of Shannon E. Moran, Edward and Raymond Wagner. Relatives and friends are invited to his Funeral Thurs. 9 A.M. O'LEARY FUNERAL HOME, 640 E. Springfield Rd., Springfield, PA and to his Viewing Wed. after 4 P.M. Funeral Mass Thurs. 10 A.M. Holy Cross Church, Springfield, PA. Int. SS. Peter and Paul Cem. In his memory, the family would appreciate contributions to Toys for Tots Foundation, P.O. Box 1947, Quantico, VA 22134. (Parking on Premises)
Published in the Philadelphia Inquirer/Philadelphia Daily News from 11/4/2002 - 11/5/2002.
Prayers goes out to the Family.......
May you Rest in Peace.............
11-06-02, 10:19 AM #2
Posted on Tue, Nov. 05, 2002
James Wagner, 57; held Marine birthday bashes
By Rusty Pray
Inquirer Staff Writer
James R. Wagner, 57, whose annual commemoration of the founding of the Marine Corps has grown from a personal statement into a Philadelphia tradition, died Saturday of a brain tumor at his home in South Philadelphia.
Doctors diagnosed the tumor in Mr. Wagner in January.
A decorated Marine Corps veteran of the Vietnam War, Mr. Wagner for the better part of the last 30 years threw one of the biggest Marine Corps birthday bashes in the nation.
Mr. Wagner, who also maintained a residence in Clifton Heights, Delaware County, began the tradition not long after buying his uncle's bar, Cookie's Tavern, at 10th Street and Oregon Avenue, in the mid-1970s. Every Nov. 10, he would open Cookie's to current and former Marines to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the Corps in 1775 at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia.
What began as one man's way of honoring his country has grown. By a lot. Now, Oregon Avenue is closed off between 10th and 11th Streets to accommodate thousands of visitors, military and civilian, who have come from all over the United States to celebrate the occasion with Mr. Wagner.
Family members said the party will go on as scheduled Sunday. The tavern, too, will remain open, operated by his daughter Marion.
Over the years, Mr. Wagner worked tirelessly on behalf of veterans' groups and the Marine Corps' Toys for Tots program, contributing toys at his own expense and going so far as to lobby toy companies for deals.
"Jim was the kind of guy who, if there was a pothole in the church parking lot, he'd pay for it to be filled," Col. Harvey C. "Barney" Barnum, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy and a Medal of Honor recipient, said yesterday. "There's not enough room in the biggest mansion to house this man's heart."
Mr. Wagner, who was known to friends as "Daddy Wags" or "Wags," joined the Corps in 1964 after graduating from Bishop Neumann High School, now St. John Neumann High School. He was an excellent athlete at Neumann - an all-star soccer player and captain of the baseball team. He also was a competitive swimmer and was chosen as Neumann's best all-round athlete and inducted into its sports hall of fame.
During his four years in the Marines, Mr. Wagner served two tours of duty in Vietnam. He was discharged with the rank of sergeant and with a Purple Heart.
Mr. Wagner belonged to a number of groups related to the Corps, including the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, the Vietnam Multi-Service Organization and the Marine Corps League. He also was an active member of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Springfield and Stella Maris in South Philadelphia.
In addition to his daughter Marion, Mr. Wagner is survived by his wife of more than 40 years, Peggy; daughters Joyce Carroll and Jaime Wagner; his mother, Marion; two brothers; a sister; and one granddaughter.
Viewings will begin at 4 p.m. tomorrow and 9 a.m. Thursday at O'Leary Funeral Home, 640 E. Springfield Rd. in Springfield. A Funeral Mass will be said at 10 a.m. Thursday at Holy Cross Church, Bishop and Springfield Roads in Springfield. Burial will be at SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery in Marple Township.
Memorial donations may be made to the Toys for Tots Foundation, Box 1947, Quantico, Va. 22134.
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