Garfield (Garth) George Edgar WAGNER


Garfield (Garth) George Edgar

Surrounded by the love and support of family, friends, and caregivers, Garth quietly passed away in Lacombe, Alberta on Wednesday September 23, 2014. Born in Craven district, Saskatchewan in 1933, Garth’s younger years were spent with his 5 siblings (Reginald, Ronald, Orville, Barry, Marlene) in various towns throughout the province as his parents, Martha and Martin, fulfilled teaching contracts. His love of sports began at an early age, and he pursued hockey, wrestling, baseball and football… dad often joked about the leather helmet that he wore in his early football days! Although he did well at school, it was not a favourite way for him to spend his time, and he found it more interesting and rewarding to work in local stores and businesses. His roots in the grocery store began with him being a stock boy and packer boy in Moose Jaw, and as he grew older the entrepreneurial spirit developed his dream of eventually having his own grocery store. His dream came true in 1958, when he left Saskatchewan for Alberta to build the Lacombe Tom Boy Store. He was soon joined by another Saskatchewan friend, Cliff Carson, and the two business partners officially opened the store’s doors in 1959. The Tom Boy store thrived, and many staff members and customers can probably recall Dad constantly walking the store aisles or overlooking everything from the office above the store’s floor space. A cigar stub and a plume of blue smoke often let people know of his whereabouts, and in later years this was replaced with toothpicks. The entrepreneurial spirit rose again in 1977 when Garth and Cliff upgraded the original store and expanded the entire building into the Tom Boy Plaza. They celebrated the store’s 25th anniversary in 1984 with family and staff, and then sold the grocery store in 1989. Garth and Cliff continued to be business partners in managing the Plaza until it was sold in 2010. Once Garth had his business established, he turned his attention to winning the heart of a pretty new teacher in town, Karene Olsen, and they were married in the summer of 1962. They had four children (Denise, Colin, Kevin, Kent), and dad was an avid supporter, coach, chauffeur, manager and banker for them all! Dad always emphasized the importance of family, friends, and community, and showed his support and commitment to a wide range of individuals, groups, and organizations. Hockey was always a big part of his life, and as a coach, many “young” players can probably recall Dad’s policy of “No stick until you can skate!”. He travelled to Europe in 1964 as the manager with the Lacombe Rockets hockey team, and served for many years as a referee and board member for the Alberta Amateur Hockey Association (AAHA). He began his membership in Kinsmen as a young man in Moose Jaw, and continued his involvement with the Lacombe Kinsmen and the K40s. Throughout the years, he demonstrated his commitment to his community as: President of the Lacombe Golf and Country Club, a member of the Lacombe Chamber of Commerce, being a town councillor, serving on the Lacombe Police and Hospital Boards, volunteering for the Alberta Senior Games, organizing events for Ducks Unlimited, and contributing to a wide range of charities and charitable events. In his later years, he loved to golf, watch sports, and enjoyed sharing hunting and fishing trips with close friends and family. He was a diehard Saskatchewan Roughriders fan!

He was recently predeceased by his wife Karene, and is survived by Denise and Bill, Colin and Kami, Kevin, Kent, grandson Eric, Ally the family cat, as well as extended family on both the Wagner and Olsen sides. We want to extend our heartfelt thanks for all the love and support that has been extended to Dad and all of us, especially to the nurses, caregivers, and medical staff with the Lacombe Continuing Care Centre. A memorial service will take place at St. Andrew’s United Church, 5226-51 Avenue, Lacombe on Friday October 3, 2014 at 11:00 a.m., with a luncheon to follow immediately at the church. The family extends an invitation for drinks and appetizers between 4-7 p.m. at the Lacombe Golf and Country Club. Those wishing to make memorial contributions may do so to Parkinson’s Alberta, 102, 5636 Burbank Crescent, Calgary, AB T2H 1Z6 or any other community/sport organization of choice.

Expressions of sympathy may be made by visiting


of Lacombe and Rimbey in charge of the arrangements. 403-7823366 403-843-3388

“A Caring Family, Caring For Families”

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