JW (Jim) Wagner

July 2, 2020


JW (Jim) Wagner, 89, Beatrice went home to be with his Lord on Thursday, July 2, 2020 at Beatrice Community Hospital. JW was born July 29, 1930 near Strawberry, AR to Elmer and Dortha Wagner. The oldest of 8 children. At the age of 17 he enlisted in the military. Serving in the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Air Force. While in the Navy he served aboard the USS Valley Forge, USS Preston, USS McDermut, and the USS Higbee. As a Korean War Veteran, he proudly served his country for over 20 years. While in the Navy he was stationed at the Naval Air Base in El Centro, CA where he met Shirley Van Deest who was visiting friends in El Centro. On March 8, 1957 they were married in Chancellor, SD, Shirley’s hometown. They returned to California, living in El Centro and Long Beach before moving to Beatrice, NE in 1961. JW completed his military service with the U.S. Air Force in Nebraska. He and Shirley lived in Beatrice raising their family of 5 children. JW worked in the air conditioning and heating business until retiring in 1987 due to ill health. In 1990 they became “snowbirds” going to Yuma, AZ for the winters. A lot of friends and memories were made.

Survivors include his wife Shirley; daughters, Deb Andersen and husband Dave, Deanna Beethe and special friend Les Blythe, Donna Graham, Doris Suey and husband Tony; son, James Wagner and wife Lisa; granddaughter, Kylie Snyder and husband Paul; grandsons, Matt Beethe and special friend Emily Carrigan, Lee Beethe and wife Anissa, Anthony Suey and wife Anna, Arron Suey and wife Allison and Tyler Wagner, Travis Blythe and wife Jayde; granddaughters, Jaslin Blythe, Amber Blythe; great-granddaughters, Quinn Snyder and Devaynee Beethe, Scarlett Blythe; great-grandsons, Jaxon and Owen Snyder and JW Beethe; sisters, Marie Sparks, Maxine Hackney, and Willie Jean Reynolds; many nieces and nephews.

JW was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Dortha (Ward) Wagner; infant brother, Freddie Ray Wagner; sisters, Yvonne Hammel, Eula Tomlinson, and Betty Whisner and husband Roger; parents-in-law, Lewis and Lizzie Van Deest.

Funeral services will be held 10:00 A.M., Wednesday, July 8, 2020 at West Side Baptist Church with Pastor Jon Palmquist officiating. Visitation will be noon until 8:00 P.M., Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at Harman-Wright Mortuary with the family greeting friends from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. A memorial is established to Westside Baptist Church or Billy Graham Evangelistic Association with the mortuary in charge. Harman-Wright Mortuary & Crematory in charge of arrangements.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of JW (Jim) Wagner, please visit our floral store.


July 7, 2020

12:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Harman - Wright Mortuary

Gathering of Family and Friends
July 7, 2020

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Harman - Wright Mortuary

Funeral Service
July 8, 2020

10:00 AM
West Side Baptist Church
604 West Court Street
Beatrice, NE 68310

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