Dr. Robert Bob Earl Wagner

March 6, 1921March 31, 2011

Dr. Robert E. (Bob) Wagner was born on March 6, 1921 and left this life 90 years later on March 31, 2011. He was the middle son of Faye Arthur Wagner and Margaret Longbottom Wagner and was born and reared in Garden City, Kansas. His father directed an agricultural experiment station, and Bob apparently inherited his love of agriculture. He received his bachelors degree from Kansas State University and a Ph.D. in Agronomy from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Late in the 1940s, he moved to the Washington, D.C. area to work for the USDA at the Beltsville, Maryland Experiment Station. Soon after moving east Bob met, fell in love with and in 1948 married Bernice Bittner, with whom he enjoyed 63 years of wonderful marriage. Bob and Bernice reared three sons.

Bob enjoyed a long career in agriculture, serving as Chairman of the Department of Agronomy at the University of Maryland, Regional Vice President of the American Potash Institute, Director of the Cooperative Extension Service at the University of Maryland, and finally returning to the Potash and Phosphate Institute, where he served as president until his retirement in 1988. In his retirement, Bob fulfilled a lifetime dream of developing a top quality herd of purebred cattle. In addition, he was an avid golfer and enjoyed hunting, fishing and, above all, spending time with his family.

Bob leaves his three sons and their wives: Bob, Jr (Jan); Jim (Debbie) and Doug (Linda) and five grandchildren: Kittery, Kimberly, Christine, John, and Jim.

Visitation will be Saturday, April 2, 2011 from 5-8 p.m. at Floral Hills Funeral Home in Tucker.

A Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. at Park Springs in Stone Mountain. In lieu of flowers donations are requested to Emory University to benefit the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center in honor of Bernice B. Wagner.

Arrangements by Floral Hills Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Tucker



  • Memorial Service Sunday, April 3, 2011
  • Visitation Saturday, April 2, 2011


  • Private Interment

Dr. Robert Bob Earl Wagner

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Marilyn/Bob Nerem

April 5, 2011

Jim,Debbie, and all the Wagner family from around the country....
Bob and I have known your parents a short time here at Park Springs. One fond memory is seeing your Dad speeding on his scooter down the hill past the lake going home after feeding Bernice at Cobblestone. Rain, shine, cold, nothing held him back...but the ice. Bernice and her wonderful smile is a blessing to all. You know she sang every word of the hymns at the Memorial?!? My plan is to visit her and sing old hymns to her....perhaps she will join in. We are proud to have known Bob Wagner and we cherish our friendship with Jim and Debbie. Love to you all. Good to meet the brothers and the Utah family and to see the grandkids who are now wonderful adults!

David Dibb

April 2, 2011

We had the great pleasure of knowing and working with Bob & Bernice for 30+ years...a very special couple. Bob will be greatly missed by family, friends, and colleagues who admired his many contributions to his profession. He is a wonderful friend who will be sorely missed.

Arlin Buyert

April 1, 2011

I will miss a dear friend.

April 1, 2011

To the Wagner Family:

My wife, Sandy, and I wish to express our deepest regrets upon the death of your Dad. All of us who worked for PPI during the time he was President had the utmost respect and admiration for him as a man and as the leader of the Foundation. Many of us have commented to each other about the "good old days" when Bob was President and all we had to do was do our job and not worry about the fertilizer industry and intra-company politics!
Our family including our sons Russ and Sean extends our heart felt sympathies to all of your family. We all will miss him!


Dr. Larry Murphy
Manhattan, KS