Raymond Ronald Wagner was born in a farmhouse in Gratiot, Ohio, with four feet of snow on the ground and no doctor around. He died in the skies over Scotland 52 years later. Serving as co-pilot of Flight 103, he was heading home for the holidays, using his seniority to bid for a work schedule he wanted. His Christmas gift from his wife, Norma was ready and waiting for him—a red Honda. In addition to Norma, he is survived by his daughters, Jenni and Carol; his son, Raymond, Jr.; and his mother.
The editor of the Pennington Post characterized Raymond's "loves" as flying, friends, and family. He was a member of the Air National Guard and the Airline Pilots Association. He especially enjoyed flying to Rio de Janeiro. He took particular interest in the shoeshine boys who lived in the poverty of Rio's hillside favellas. He talked to them, tried to help them get jobs, and would send them old soccer shirts from the Hopewell YMCA. Closer to home, he helped hundreds of young people at the Penn Brook Swim Club where he was president, manager, counselor.
He had strong feelings founded on traditional values—work, family, friendships, trust, and country. He was also an active member of the Presbyterian church. And he had his hobby—Volkswagen Beetles: at one time he owned 30 of them.
His daughter Jenni said, "He was not a saint. He was a husband, a daddy, a friend. My friends used to tell me that if anything happened to their parents, this is the house they would come to." It was to spend more time with the family and this house that Raymond had already decided on early retirement from Pan Am. There was so much more he wanted to do in life.
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