Herbert Phillip (Herb) Wagner, Jr., age 87, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Sunday, October 20, 2019 at the University of Michigan Hospital, following an extended illness. Herb was a kind, loving family man who was a sports fanatic and had a tremendous talent for bad dad jokes.
Herb was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on September 26, 1932, to the late Herbert Phillip Wagner, Sr. and the late Lilias Julia Kendall Wagner, who had met and married while both attended the University of Michigan. Herb developed his lifelong passion for U-M early, growing up on Ridgeway Dr. in Ann Arbor in a home backing up to the University of Michigan Arboretum. He was raised with his sister, Lilias Wagner Circle, who passed away in 2011. An active boy scout, Herb graduated from Ann Arbor High in 1950.
To no one’s surprise, Herb attended U-M, initially studying forestry. He was a member of the Acacia fraternity, and met his future wife Winifred Ann Pinney (Ann), a graduate student from James Madison University, at an Acacia event. After earning a BS in Forestry in 1954, Herb enrolled in the U.S. Army, and served for two years as an ambulance driver in Stuttgart, Germany. Herb returned to Michigan in August 1956, and he and Ann were married on September 15, 1956. The couple lived in Ann Arbor while Herb completed an MBA in Accounting, then relocated for several years to St. Paul, Minnesota, before returning to Ann Arbor.
After passing the CPA exam, Herb built a successful career as a public accountant first with Icerman, Johnson, and Hoffman (IJH) in Ann Arbor and then Howell. Upon the acquisition of IJH, Herb and his business partner founded Bredernitz, Wagner & Co. CPAs in Howell in 1984. Herb was very involved in the Howell community as a member of Rotary, a deacon at the First Presbyterian Church and a board member at McPherson Hospital, now St. Joseph Mercy Hospital.
Herb’s greatest joy in life was the extended loving family that he and Ann built during their 63 years of marriage. Herb was a huge advocate for his children and grandchildren and could often be found cheering at their sporting or performing arts events. He and Ann welcomed four children: Mark, Linda, Diane, and Paul, all graduates of Howell High School and Central Michigan University. While their children were growing up, Herb and Ann purchased a vacation home at Chalet on the Lake in Stevensville, Michigan, and the extended family continues to enjoy long holiday weekends there. Herb’s passion for his family was closely followed by his dedication to his beloved Michigan Wolverines, and he held football season tickets nearly his entire life. Herb ⎼ formerly an avid runner ⎼ also loved golf and bowling and played softball for years.
After Herb’s retirement, he and Ann traveled extensively, taking cruises and visiting numerous destinations around the world. Later, they spent winters in Orange Beach, Alabama, where they were often joined by their children and grandchildren. In 2014, Herb and Ann relocated to Glacier Hills in Ann Arbor, where Ann still resides.
Herb will be cherished and dearly missed by the family that survives him: his wife, Winifred Ann (Ann) Wagner and his children Mark (Kimberly) Wagner of Novi, Linda (the late Joseph) Douglas of Novi, Diane (David) Heffner of Ann Arbor, and Paul (Lisa) Wagner of Howell. He also leaves behind his much-beloved grandchildren: Scott (Laura) Wagner of Plymouth, Colleen (Matthew) Harkreader of Charlotte, North Carolina, Julia (Robert) Auger of Ypsilanti, Sarah Wagner of Lansing, Patrick Wagner of Grand Rapids, Delaney Heffner of Chicago, Nathan Heffner currently attending Purdue, and Megan and Ashlyn Douglas of Novi. Herb was also a joyful great grandparent in waiting.
Herb’s life will be lovingly remembered on Sunday, October 27, with a family service at 3:00, followed by a celebration of life at 5:00 p.m. Both events will take place in the Hanson Room at the Manor at Glacier Hills, 1200 Earhart Rd. in Ann Arbor.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Glacier Hills Foundation for the Employee Scholarship Fund, in memory of Herbert P. Wagner..