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Richard L. Wagner departed the bounds of this earth at his home on Saturday, June 27, 2020, after many years of successful treatments for prostate cancer.

Born in Fayetteville, Pennsylvania, May 20, 1935, he was the son of the late Willis and Bernice (Jacobs) Wagner of Fayetteville, Pennsylvania.

He is survived by his wife Karen Sue (Gelsinger), three children from his former marriage to Nancy (Smith) Shoop: Pamela (Tom) Cline of Falls Church, Virginia; Shawn (Rich) Wagner of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; Kirk (Sherry) Wagner of Monrovia, Maryland; and four grandchildren, Nicole Cline of Falls Church, Virginia; TD Cline of Corcoran, California; Christian Wagner and Delaney Wagner of Monrovia, Maryland.

He graduated in 1954 from Chambersburg High School, attended Gettysburg College, and received a BS and MS in Social Studies from Shippensburg University.

Richard served in the United States Army 1957-1959.

He retired in 1997 after 37 years as a social studies teacher in St. Thomas High School 1960-1965 and James Buchanan High School 1965-1997.

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Richard coached baseball from 1966-1979 in addition to coaching football.

Through the years, he served as advisor to many JBHS clubs: Student Council, Varsity Club, Class of 1974, and National Honor Society.

Richard was a lifelong learner and researcher. He published two Civil War Books: “For Honor, Flag, and Family, The Life and Times of Samuel Wiley Crawford”, the only Civil War soldier from Franklin County, and “An Irish Soldier’s Patriotic Journey”, a biography of an Irish immigrant and a Civil War soldier, John Doran.

Richard recently published a novel about a boy’s search for his mother’s unwanted love, “In the Shadows of His Mind”. It was based on an experience of child abuse he witnessed years earlier.

He was a member of Franklin County Historical Society-Kittochtinny. He enjoyed Neil Diamond music, reading, writing, landscaping, running, walking, skiing, Civil War and Gettysburg research, American history, politics, philosophy, traveling, and spending time with his family.

Private graveside services will be held at the convenience of the family by Reverend Joel Nogle, Chambersburg Church of the Brethren.

Interment will be in Lincoln Cemetery, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

Donations may be made to the Richard and Karen Wagner Scholarship, Tuscarora School District, 100 West Seminary Street, Mercersburg, PA. 17236. The scholarship was created by the Wagner’s in 2011 to benefit two students each year who are entering college in social studies and computer techology/business with a financial need.

Kelso-Cornelius Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Richard L. Wagner, please visit the floral store.

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