James Melvin Wagar, US Army Korea

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James Melvin Wagar, US Army Korea

Also Known As: "Jim"
Birthplace: Inkster, Grand Forks County, ND, United States
Death: March 24, 2013 (78)
Immediate Family:

Son of Melvin G Wagar and Signe E Wagar
Husband of Private
Father of Private; Private and Private
Brother of Laverne E Wagar; Private; Private and Private

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About James Melvin Wagar, US Army Korea

Obituary for James Melvin Wagar James Melvin Wagar, October 15, 1934, went home to be with his Lord March 24, 2013.

The essence of Jim's life is described in six words courage, kindness, loyalty, strength, love, and faith. He was a caring husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend. Jim served his God, family, church, profession, community and country with passion. He was born in Inkster, North Dakota to Melvin and Signe Wagar Jim is survived by his wife Sharon Wagar, daughters Terri Rekawek, Lauri (Kris) O'Bannon and Lisa (Doug) Drainville, His brothers Vern (Jane) and Robert (Debi) Wagar and his sister Joann (Bob) Shumate; 9 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren; several cousins, nieces, and nephews.

"Excellence can be obtained if you: care more than others think is wise; risk more than others think is safe, dream more than others think is practical, expect more than others think is possible" Annonymous

Jim’s life was marked with adversity overcome by perseverance. Delivered at home in Inkster, ND, in a small tar paper shack in frigid temperatures of 30 below, with only a wood burning stove to heat their home, Jim was the oldest of the four children. Growing up he sought a life of adventure and achievement. While in elementary school his family migrated west from Inkster to Hoquiam, Washington to join their grandparents. As the oldest, Jim was tasked with the household responsibilities since both of his parents worked. He charged himself with the duty of grocery shopping and cooking and made his siblings do all the household chores and everything else. The art of “delegating responsibility” started naturally and early for Jim.

In 1950 Jim received the “Pro Deo et Patria” or God and Country award. The religious award comparable to the Eagle Scout Badge granted by the Lutheran Committee on Scouting authorized by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

In 1952 he graduated from Hoquiam High School at the age of seventeen. Jim did not own a car yet, but he did have a trusted bicycle that was his faithful companion. This bicycle served him well one famous day as he managed to entertain eleven ladies on eleven different dates.

Prior to college Jim bought a 1950 Ford which became the car that he taught his siblings how to drive in and then gifted to them when he left for Korea. Jim attended Washington State University “Go Cougs” for 2 years until he ran out of money. He was faced with the dilemma and challenge to earn more money to which he solved by enlisting in the Army for eighteen months serving in the Sixth Infantry Division, Ft. Ord, CA and then was deployed to Korea. While in Korea, rock-n-roll legend singer Elvis Presley was the king and working guard duty he taught himself the “bop” an “Elvis” dance move. Jim became an impressive dancer.

On his return from Korea Jim headed to Alaska to earn more money working in the moving business. Finally, after he had saved enough he returned to the U of W “Go Huskies” to graduate with a BS in Business in 1960. He worked his way through college at UPS, a small start-up company at that time. Shari attended U of W in 1958 also. They lived across dorms from one another. They spotted each other from their windows and Shari was dazzled by Jim’s charismatic smile. It was a match made in heaven, a quick romance and they were married that same year. After graduation Jim worked in a business setting and in 1962 was offered a position at Smyth "the smoother mover." He was incredibly disciplined and set annual goals soon after he finished his college degree. He continued this regimen of goal setting and achievement his entire life. Jim had a long career in the moving business. Starting with Smyth he moved from sales to general manager in Everett and in 1970 Smyth offered him an opportunity to move to their Puerto Rico office. This was and adventure for the whole family. Three years of excursions discovering the island in the sun. Jim showed the family the Puerto Rican history and culture and acquired a 25 foot boat the “ZAVA” that invited experiences exploring the Caribbean waters. After three years the next stage took the family to Miami, Florida for two years for more fun in the sun.

But as west coast loyalists he moved to the family windy city of San Francisco, California. After one year Jim had an opportunity of a lifetime to move to southern California, Huntington Beach, where he opened his own business. Jim was a successful entrepreneur, and in 1980 he launched out and started his own moving business and built it from the ground up. Jim created a thriving local, national and international business for 16 years. During these years he also served as California Moving and Storage Association (CMSA) board member and president for ten years, also the international president of CMSA for a year. Concurrently he was an as elder of the Evangelical Free Church of Garden Grove for ten years.

In 1996 the moving business became so successful that in Jim sold it to another international business and he and Shari moved back to the Northwest to region to rejoin their parents and daughters. In retirement Jim stayed active playing golf, serving on the Olympia Union Gospel Mission as Board President for five years, serving at Faith Assembly in Missions Outreach programs and serving at New Bridge Community Church in Small Groups and Prayer Ministries.

Of all Jim’s most significant life accomplishments, his faith and his family are to be most punctuated. Jim was a man of deep conviction. He was an outstanding person. It was the depth of his faith that drove his actions. At the age of 44 after a long life of personal success, Jim acknowledged his absolute desire and need for Christ to be his Savior and the Lord of his Life. In this monumental moment, life transitioned from temporal to eternal. Jim’s goals and values became more about family and faith as exhibited through the way he spent time with his Savior, became a father to many, prayed for healing for many, served on many missions projects. Even in his final days he spent much of his time praying for his family and those in need. Jim’s heart’s desire is to one day be reunited with his family and friends in heaven.

To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of James Melvin Wagar please visit our Sympathy Store.

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James Melvin Wagar, US Army Korea's Timeline

October 15, 1934
Inkster, Grand Forks County, ND, United States
March 24, 2013
Age 78
March 31, 2013
Age 78