March 7, 1941 ~ April 03, 2017
May 13, 2017 11:00 AM
Simon (Sam) Wagner, 76, passed away peacefully at home on April 3, 2017. Sam, a life-long Montanan, was born in Big Timber, Montana, on March 7, 1941, to Mary (Spannring) and Harry Wagner.
Sam graduated from St. Ignatius High School, St. Ignatius, Montana, in 1959 and Montana State University in 1971 with a degree in Industrial Arts Education. Throughout his life, Sam utilized his skill for welding which he learned under the tutelage of professor and mentor, Don Lee. Prior to attending MSU, Sam was drafted into the United States Army and served in Germany until he was honorably discharged in 1965.
Sam and Julie (Nesbit) were married at Soldier’s Chapel, Big Sky, Montana, on June 8, 1968. Sam was employed at Steve’s Country Store, later named Country West, while he finished college and worked there with his future partner and best friend, George Eddie. Sam and George had the opportunity to purchase Country West in 1972 and remained there until George’s death in 1997. Sam completed his career in retail as Boot Manager at Murdoch’s Ranch and Home Supply.
The Springhill Community was home from 1978 until his death. Sam contributed to the community as a member of the Springhill School Board, board member and fireman for the Springhill Fire Co., a 4-H leader, member of Fraternal Order of Eagles and president of Downtown Business Association. He also supported the Montana Winter Fair, Gallatin County Summer Fair and CNFR.
Sam lived a life of sincerity and integrity. He deeply loved his family and supported them in all their endeavors and celebrated with them in their achievements. In spite of working inside in retail most of the time, his greatest pleasure came from outside activities--camping, fishing, riding and pack trips, floating the rivers, hunting and guiding for guests, shooting gophers--and, most of all, sharing these activities with his family and friends.
Sam is survived by the beloved members of his family: his wife, Julie; daughter, Jenny (Ryan) Lucas; son, Jake (Mary) Wagner; grandchildren, Chloe Pascual, Ellery Pascual, Wynn Wagner and Cy Wagner; sisters, Gert Hemphill, Maggi Wagner, Eileen (Ron) Briggs; brother, Joe (Rosemarie) Wagner; and sister-in-law, Joan Wagner. He is also survived by the Eddie family, many special extended family members and life-long friends. He was deeply loved and “bigger than life” to us and will always be missed.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister and brother-in-law, Viola and John Schiltz; brother, Walt; and brother-in-law, Don Hemphill.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 13, at 11 a.m. at Springhill Presbyterian Church (In-Town), 4769 W. Babcock, Bozeman, followed by lunch at the Springhill Pavilion. A private interment will be held at a later date at the Springhill Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Sam’s name to Bozeman Health Foundation (memo: Hospice), 931 Highland Blvd., Suite 3200, Bozeman, Montana 59715 or The Sam Wagner Memorial Fund, c/o First Security Bank, 642 Cottonwood Road, Bozeman, Montana 59718. This fund will be given to the Gallatin County Chaplaincy.
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