Charles "Les" Wagner


Charles "Les" Wagner, 84, Moorhead passed away Wednesday, November 24 at Veteran Affairs Medical Center, Fargo.

Les was born on January 11, 1926 in Fargo, ND. Les graduated from Fargo Central High School in 1943 before enlisting in the U.S. Army at the age of 17. Les served as a rifleman and photographer in Europe. He was honorably discharged in June, 1946. Les graduated from NDSU in 1949 with B.S. degree in mathematics.

Les married Beatrice (Bonnie) Bugbee on June 14, 1950 in First Methodist Church, Fargo.

Les worked many jobs throughout his career before operating as an independent broker for life and health insurance starting in 1981.

Les had many achievements throughout his life and working career including, 11 National Quality Awards, he was selected as Man of the Year two times by the Fargo-Moorhead Life Underwriters Association, and he served as director and secretary of the FM Association.

One of Les's many passions was music. He played in a dance band, the Lake Agassiz Concert Band, and the American Legion Band.

Les is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, children; Barb (Dwayne) Knutsen, Montevideo, MN, Cindy Wagner, Show Low, AZ, Patti Swetland, Detroit Lakes, MN, sister, Dorothy Jackman, Bismarck, ND, and 6 grandchildren.

Les was preceded in death by his brother, Gilbert, and sister, Estelle.

In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Ayase-shi Kanagawa Prefecture Mr. Wagner was one of the most familiar faces from Grace United Methodist Church that I can remember. Without fail every Sunday he would ask how my week had gone, how school was, what my plans for the future were, etc. That small amount of time he, and others at Grace, took to show that they cared had a lasting impact that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Thank you, sir.

  2. Devils Lake ND
    I remember Les always being the one to usher people into the sanctuary at Grace. He was a part of that atmosphere. It wasn’t Grace without Les there. He will be missed. As a friend put it after I told him I remembered Les and my dad sitting together talking….”they are again.”

  3. Dear Barb and Family:
    My thoughts and prayers are with you. Even though you know your dad is at peace, I know from my own dad’s passing it remains an extremely difficult time for all of you. Barb, I’m glad you were able to have time with him and have “some really good talks.” Those memories will last forever for you and you will always cherish them.
    Take care–Meg

  4. Montevideo MN
    Barb and family

    So sorry for your loss. Hope you find comfort in being together and sharing memories over the next few days and many more times in the coming years.

  5. Montevideo MN
    Barb and family, The Montevideo Elementary staff offer you our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time of loss. We will be honoring your request and giving you a memorial in lieu of flowers. Wishing you peace and strength as you move through the next days.

  6. Milan MN
    Barb and Family,
    So sorry to hear about your loss. Although your father has left earthly place, your memories will be eternal. May God take watch over you in this difficult time.

  7. Moorhead MN

    I’ve known Les for a long time. Going back to Junior High to the present. In 1939 we were at the Band Clinic at Fair Hills Resort, in the war and back, played in local bands and groups together. Lots of good memories.
    You will be missed ol’ friend!

    Lloyd Odin

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