Chapel Hill: Obituaries

Leo Wayne Wagoner, Sr.

Leo Wayne Wagoner Sr. age 90, died on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014 at Carol Woods Retirement Community in Chapel Hill, NC.

He was born in Jonesville, NC to the late Gernie Sexton Wagoner and the late Rachel Hudspeth Wagoner, and was predeceased by his brother Allen Dixon Wagoner of Daytona, FL.

He grew up in Yadkin County attending West Yadkin High School, NC State University, University of Virginia, Columbia University, and graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in Journalism in 1947. He was a Navy veteran and served in the Pacific during World War II.

Leo married his sweetheart Grace Carter Williams in 1949. They lived in Mt. Airy, NC where he worked for Quality Oil before moving to Chapel Hill in 1956 to work in sales for Hospital Savings Association which would become Blue Cross/ Blue Shield of North Carolina. He rose to become Vice President of Sales for Blue Cross until his retirement. He served as President of the Kiwanis Club, was on the board of the Chapel Hill Chamber of Commerce, and was a past member of the Chapel Hill Jaycees.

Leo, Grace, and their family, were founding members of Olin T. Binkley Memorial Baptist Church, and Leo served as a Deacon and Church Council member several times.

In 2013, Leo was named as a Town Treasure by the Chapel Hill Historical Society for his efforts to desegregate Little League baseball in Chapel Hill.

He loved his family, golf, Carolina sports, major league baseball, crossword puzzles, dancing with his wife, and traveling.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Grace Williams Wagoner, three daughters, Deborah Wagoner Miller of Chapel Hill, NC; Katherine Wagoner Maynard (Don) of South Burlington, VT; Suzanne Wagoner Neuman (Andrew) of Jackson Heights, NY; and a son, Leo Wayne Wagoner Jr. (Pamela) of Hickory, NC.

He is also survived by 7 grandchildren Jennifer Ioli Perillo (Paul) of Ardsley, NY and Julianne Neuman of Jackson Heights, NY; Meghan Wagoner Pritchard (Zach) and Seddon Wagoner of Hickory, NC; Kai Maynard, Israel Maynard and Esther Maynard George of Burlington, VT, along with 2 great grandchildren William Perillo of Ardsley, NY and Hadley Pritchard of Hickory, NC.

A memorial service was held on December 14, 2014. Memorial gifts may be made to the Olin T. Binkley Memorial Fund, 1712 Willow Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.