Wilma Lee “Red” Wagner, 89, of Cheyenne, Wyoming passed away on Tuesday, June 20, 2023. Wilma was born on July 24, 1933 in Veteran, Wyoming where her parents, Loran L. and Lucy A. (Fowler) Purtle operated the general store and her grandparents ran the local gas station. The family later moved to Torrington, Wyoming where Wilma and her older sister, Esther, attended high school. While attending Torrington High School, Wilma (Class of 1951) was introduced to Robert E. Wagner (Class of 1949) through one of Robert’s classmates. Shortly after graduating from Torrington High School, Robert enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. After Wilma graduated from high school, she later attended and subsequently earned a Bachelor of Science in Education and Home Economics from Chadron State College in Nebraska.
Robert returned to Torrington after completing his military service where he and Wilma began to date. On the same day of her college graduation in May 1954, Wilma and Robert were married in Rapid City, South Dakota. Robert later attended and graduated from the University of Wyoming in Laramie. Robert and Wilma then returned to Torrington where Wilma taught classes within the Goshen County School District.
During this period of time, they welcomed their daughter, Teresa Jo, and five years later, their son, Bret, arrived to complete the family. As the family moved to larger towns within Colorado, Wilma worked in the Environmental Health and Consumer Protection field for several counties in Colorado including Pueblo, Boulder, Larimer, and Jefferson County. She was the first female Environmental Health Inspector in Pueblo County. Wilma continued her career as a Environmental Health Inspector until she retired from the Jefferson County Health Department in 1998. She was also a Cub Scout and Girl Scout leader in Springfield, Colorado where she taught fifth and sixth grade. Wilma was involved with the Mormon Church for a period and was active with her sorority, Beta Sigma Phi. After Robert and Wilma retired from their respective careers, they returned to Wyoming residing in Cheyenne.
Wilma was preceded in death by her parents, and her sister, Esther Meusch. Wilma is survived by her husband, Robert, her daughter Teresa Jo (Jim) Manzanares, her son Bret (Teresa) Wagner, her grandchildren, Thaddeus (Melissa) Manzanares, Shaun (Tiffany) Manzanares, and her great grandchildren, Aiden and Alexander Manzanares.
All are welcome to attend Wilma’s memorial service to be held on Tuesday July 11, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. Lakeview Chapel Schrader, Aragon and Jacoby Funeral Home Cheyenne, Wyoming. A reception will immediately follow the memorial service at Schrader Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests consideration for a memorial donation to the Davis Hospice Center in Cheyenne, Wyoming.