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Edna May (Minerd) Wagner


Edna, ca. 1915

Edna May (Minerd) Wagner was born on Oct. 7, 1884 at Dunbar, Fayette County, PA, the daughter of Rev. David E. and Catherine (Williams) Minerd.

Edna was a scholar and graduated salutatorian of Dunbar High School, class of 1901.  She then went into the field of education, and is known to have taught at Gettemy School in 1902 and Frame School in 1905. A Connellsville Courier article said that at the end of the 1906 school year, she and a colleague "delighted their pupils ... by treating them to oranges and candy."

On Dec. 18, 1918, at the age of 34, Edna married 45-year-old Johnson Denver Wagner (July 24, 1873-1941), the son of Joseph and Amanda (Gamble) Wagner of Stillwager, MN. He had relocated circa 1898 to Westmoreland County, PA.

At the time of marriage, Johnson was employed as a clerk in Pittsburgh. Later he became a railroad engineer. 

They moved to Youngwood, Westmoreland County, PA, making their home at 406 Depot Street.

The couple produced two sons -- Winton "Roy" Wagner and Paul Edward Wagner. 

When the federal census was taken in 1920, Edna and Johnson made their home in Youngwood. The census shows the family living as next door neighbors to Edna's sister and brother in law, Bess and Edward Lemon. Johnston's employment was marked as a passenger agent for the railroad, while brother in law Edward Lemon worked as a locomotive engineer.


Edna, 3rd from left, and father 2nd from right. Others, L-R:  Dr. Harold "Daniel" Minerd, Mary Belle Riley, Bess Lemon, William Alfred Minerd.


Edna and her sons frequently traveled to Dunbar to visit family. Every year, in July, Edna and her siblings would gather together to honor their aging father on his birthday, at the old family homestead in Dunbar. It served as an annual reunion for the family, and the events were well-attended. 

In 1930, the census shows the Wagners residing on Depot Street in Youngwood. Johnson's employment was listed as "engineer" with the "steam railway." 


Youngwood Cemetery

After Johnson retired, he joined the First National Bank of Youngwood, where he was named as a vice president.

Johnson suffered from organic heart disease for years. He died in their home at the age of 68 on April 28, 1941, "after a lingering illness," reported the Courier. Following a funeral in the residence, led by Rev. J.H. MacRill of the Youngwood Methodist Church, he was laid to rest in the Youngwood Cemetery.In addition to his immediate family, he was survived by brothers Curtiss Wagner and Clyde Wagner and sisters Mrs. Frank Baker, Mrs. Joseph Davis and Mrs. Josephine Heiple.

Edna outlived her husband by 11 years and remained in their longtime dwelling. She was burdened with an excess of thyroid hormone in her body and "massive anasarca," retention of body fluids leading to swelling.

She died at the age of 68 on May 29, 1952, at Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg. A brief obituary was published in the Courier. She was buried with her husband. 


~ Son Winton "Roy" Wagner ~

Son Winton "Roy" Wagner (1922-1983) was born in 1922.

He married Gladys Sherbondy (Nov. 10, 1929-2007), the daughter of H. Earl and Caroline (Momeyer) Sherbondy of Mendon, Westmoreland County.

They were the parents of three children -- Debra J. Wagner, Johnson D. "John" Wagner and Laura Aftosmis.

Together, they founded Wagner Lumber in Youngwood, and expanded their business into real estate development. Over the years, said the Courier, they "owned, operated and developed hotels, nursing home, office buildings, apartment complexes and single family homes in Greensburg and the surrounding area."

W.R. died in 1983.

After W.R.'s death at a young age, Gladys continued the family business. Among other projects in which the Wagners were involved were Revest Properties, Sherwood Associates, Crosskeys Apartments, Heritage Square Apartments, Berkshire Associates, Greensburg Commerce Park and Wagner Outdoor Advertising. Displaying what the Courier called a "do what it takes work ethic and attention to detail," she was a member of First United Methodist Church of Greensburg, the advisory board of the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg and the Executive Committee of Westmoreland Heritage.

With a love of history, Gladys was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Daughters of American Colonists. She also pictured in the book, Our Town in Picture and Story:  Youngwood, Pennsylvania 1899-1974. Circa 1991, Gladys spoke by phone with the founder of this website, and provided useful information and direction.

Gladys died at age 78 on Nov. 29, 2007, in Greensburg. She was laid to rest at St. Clair Cemetery in Greensburg.

Son Johnson D. "John" Wagner (1955-2013) was born on Jan. 15, 1955. He resided in Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County and carried on with his parents' real estate business for three decades. Said the Greensburg Tribune-Review, "he and the family owned, operated and developed hotels, office buildings, apartment complexes and single family homes in Greensburg and the surrounding area. Companies included Revest Properties, Sherwood Associates, Crosskeys Apartments, Heritage Square Apartments, Berkshire Associates Greensburg Commerce Park and Wagner Outdoor Advertising." At age 58, he died on Nov. 15, 2013. He rests in St. Clair Cemetery in Greensburg, with Rev. Steve Morse having officiated. The family asked in an obituary that any memorial donations be made to the First United Methodist Church in Greensburg, the Westmoreland County Food Bank or the Humane Society of Westmoreland County. His legacy endures through the Johnson D. Wagner Testamentary Trust, doing business as "Berkshire Associates," a Pennsylvania general partnership.

Daughter Debra J. Wagner ( ? -living) was born in (?). She was in Greensburg in 2013.

Daughter Laura Wagner ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She was a 1991 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. She wedded Charles G. Aftosmis ( ? - ? ), a 1990 Pitt alumnus. In 2013, they dwelled in Greensburg.

~ Son Paul Edward Wagner ~

Son Paul Edward Wagner (1929-2008) was born on Oct. 10, 1929.

He was united in marriage with Lois Monica Leap (June 4, 1931-2006).

The couple produced three offspring -- Cynthia Lee Karamesines, Mark Wagner and Barry Wagner.

They lived in Youngwood circa 1952.

The Wagners later retired to Florida, making a home in Deerfield Beach, Broward County. They endured the untimely deaths of their son Mark in 2000 and daughter Cynthia Karamesines in 2004.

Lois died at age 75 in Deerfield Beach on July 3, 2006. A death notice was published in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale.

Paul lived for another nearly two years. He succumbed to death on May 20, 2008, at the age of 78. They rest together in St. Clair Cemetery in Greensburg.

After their deaths, said one of their offspring, the family "shattered" apart. 

Son Barry L. Wagner (1950-2022) was born in 1950. He wed Vickie (1956-living). Two children of this union were Radiena Wagner and Paul Steven Wagner. They were in Muncie, IN in 2000 but by 2006 had relocated back to Greensburg, PA. Barry passed away on Nov. 18, 2022. Interment was next to his parents in Saint Clair Cemetery in Greensburg.

  • Granddaughter Radiena Wagner ( ? - ? )
  • Grandson Paul Steven Wagner ( ? - ? )

Daughter Cynthia Lee Wagner (1953-2004) was born on Aug. 14, 1953 in Greensburg. She was an alumna of Latrobe High School and Agnes Scott College in Georgia. On Nov. 17, 1978, in Marion, IN, she was joined in wedlock with Athanasios "Chris" Karamesines ( ? - ? ). Their two daughters are Christy Karamesines and Damara Karamesines ( ? - ? ). Chris is not to be confused with famed racer Chris Karamesines. They made a move to Muncie, IN in the late 1970s and stayed for good. The family held a membership in the College Avenue United Methodist Church. Sadly, Cynthia was stricken with adenocarcinoma esoophago-gastric junction, cancer in the junction of the esophagus and digestive tissues. She passed away at the age of 51 in their Muncie residence on June 5, 2004, and her remains were cremated. An obituary with her photograph appeared in the Muncie Star Press. Chris has outlived his bride and, with his daughters, were pictured together in the Indianapolis Star when attending the 32nd Annual Greek Festival held at Holy Trinity Green Orthodox Church..

  • Granddaughter Damara Lee Karamesines (1980- ? ) was born in about 1980. She was a 1997 alumna of Burris Laboratory School. At one time she was employed as a supervisor in an Old Navy retail store in Muncie. Circa 2011, she owned Greek's Live in Muncie.
  • Granddaughter Christy Demetria Karamesines (1987- ? ) was born in about 1987. She is a 2006 graduate of Burris Laboratory School, with commencement held in the Ball Gymnasium of Ball State University.

Son Mark E. Wagner ( ? -2000) was born on April 13, 1959. As a young man he worked in the pizza business. Mark entered into marriage with Theresa ( ? -living), a native of Alaska. Together, they were the parents of Devon Wagner. Their home in 2000 was in Deerfield Beach, Broward County, FL. Sadly, at the age of 41, he died in Broward County on Sept. 25, 2000. The Orlando Sun-Sentinel printed an obituary.

  • Grandson Devon Wagner (1993-living) was born in 1993. He has lived in Muncie, IN.


Copyright 2000-2001, 2009-2010, 2019 Mark A. Miner