Cover photo for James H. Van Wagner's Obituary
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1926 James 2009

James H. Van Wagner

February 5, 1926 — July 4, 2009

James Harland Van Wagner, 83 of Punta Gorda, FL passed away Saturday, July 4, 2009 after a short illness. He was born February 5, 1926 to Harvey and Bertha Van Wagner in Lake Worth, Florida. Jim enlisted in the Navy on his 17th birthday and served in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters aboard the USS Forster, USS ISM 448 and USS Holder DD819 during WWII. Jim reached the rank of Quartermaster second class. After separation from the Navy he attended the University of Maryland on the GI bill and received his BS degree in Engineering. He went to California to seek his fortune where he heard the grass was greener. Jim worked for the Cities of Pomona, Riverside and Whittier as their manager of their municipal water departments during the insuring years. In the 70's , he spent two years in the Philippines working for their government setting up municipal water districts in Mindaneo. He retired in 1987 from the Valley County Water District in Baldwin Park, California. Deciding it was time to return to his roots he returned to Florida taking up residency in Punta Gorda in 1994 and enjoying traveling by car all over the US, Canada and trips to the Orient as well enjoying his traveling on his boats. He was a member of the Punta Gorda Elks Club. Jim will be greatly missed by his dear friend and companion, Sherri Schmid and their 14 year old poodle, Gabby Ann who traveled with them everywhere; nephew, Stephen Van Wagner of Jeffersonville, IN; grand niece, Cynthia Brian of Old Fort, TN and other grandnieces and nephews. Inurnment will be at Sarasota National Cemetery at a later date. To express condolences to the family, please sign the online guest book.

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