Catherine (Kai) Jeanine Wagner passed away on the evening of May 26th at the age of 91. She was the mother of two, grandmother of six, and great-grandmother of nine. She was born in 1928 in Chicago, IL, the last of four children. She married her childhood friend and love, Wolfgang Rudy Wagner, in August of 1948, who preceded her in death in 2001. During their early years they resided in Chicago making happy memories, often reminiscing about her siblings, nieces and nephews, cherished friends from church, spirited bunco gatherings and frequent visits to Fullerton Beach.
Kai Wagner left a mark on every person she met and exemplified what it means to have a servant’s heart. She loved serving people, especially her family. Anyone who walked through her door would be met by a meal or treat before they even had a chance to remove their coat. Even in her last waking moments, she was asking if anyone needed anything. She served as a deaconess for many years at Medinah Baptist Church, using her gifts to help and serve those around her. Her life was a living example of Ephesians 4:32 — “And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ”.
She loved making people feel special and important. Her vivacious personality touched and uplifted everyone around her, and she made friends everywhere she went. She treasured every moment spent with friends and family, especially her grandchildren and great grandchildren, who adored her as much as she did them. She loved beautiful things, especially fabrics and colors of clothing, and anything that sparkled- she reminded us all to find joy in the details. She loved to laugh. She found humor in most everything, and it was rare that a smile wasn’t flashing across her face. She had a whole vocabulary of nonsensical words - were they German, Yiddish, or invented? We may never be sure, but they will certainly be passed along to future generations to come. She loved animals, especially her cats. You could always find a brood on her back doorstep waiting to be fed and stroked. Most importantly, she loved the Lord and showed her family and friends what living in faith looked like. She took great comfort in knowing that Jesus died for her sins and that she would be living eternally in the place He prepared for her. Without doubt, she is now dancing and singing with the angels with the love of her life by her side.
Catherine is survived by: Daughter, Janeen and husband Morgan; Son, Chris and wife Marge; Grandchildren: Jonathan and wife Lesley, Janessa, Joy and husband Joe, Zachary and wife Taylor, Alexandra, Clayton, Erin and Rachel; Great-grandchildren: Emily, Caleb, Wolfgang, Mallory, Grace, Colton, Catherine, Henry, and Madison. She also leaves behind many other family members and friends she has shared her joy and love with over her 91 years. All of these she touched and loved deeply. There will be a private memorial service at a later date.
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