Marguerite Van Wagner Runck thumbnail

Marguerite Van Wagner Runck

August 9, 1923 - January 12, 2019

This is one of those family stories that a member of the family composes at the death of a dearly loved family member who started life as my Aunt & Uncles little girl.

 

Somehow we must wrap-up a lifetime of experiences, personal moments, thoughts and emotions in a few paragraphs. I think we all know that it…read more

This is one of those family stories that a member of the family composes at the death of a dearly loved family member who started life as my Aunt & Uncles little girl.

 

Somehow we must wrap-up a lifetime of experiences, personal moments, thoughts and emotions in a few paragraphs. I think we all know that it is an unattainable goal and it doesn’t sound like much when we read it. It is easy to feel that these compositions grossly generalize the story of an individual life. A shame no matter how hard one tries.

 

Marguerite was a very private person and she was convinced that her life wasn’t interesting enough to speak of between friends.

 

Marguerite Van Wagner Runck was the first child of Lillian Cotton Van Wagner and Robert Van Wagner. Lillian and Robert were married for 75 years Robert was 21 and Lillian was 19 when they married.  A year later Marguerite was born on August 9th 1923 in Brooklyn where they lived. Lillian and Robert would add a son, Robert Van Wagner Jr. to the family for a lovely family of four.

 

They would move into a home at Shaker Heights, Ohio. Some time later they would move, once again, to a lovely home in Ridgewood, New Jersey where Marguerite spent most all of her school years. It was right at the end of Marguerites Senior year in Ridgewood that the family, with her younger brother, Robert, moved to the Canal Zone in Panama. They moved just before her graduation from high school. She left her friends and their lovely neighborhood behind.

 

Her family relocated to the Panama Canal and to the American Zone, as it was known, where her father was an Administrator in the offices of the Canal and Marguerite also worked there for a time. Later she would be employed by the American Embassy at embassy headquarters. The family became very familiar with the canal and all of its workings.

 

Marguerite met her husband John Runck, also working with the canal administration. They married on board one of the Matson Cruise Line ships in the bay and their reception was held water side at the Balboa officers club.

 

The family lived in Panama for some 30 years and then retired to Hendersonville, North Carolina. Marguerite and John, as well as Marguerite’s Mother, Lillian, and her father, Robert Van Wagner, built homes adjacent to the Hendersonville Country Club. After many years at this location both families moved into homes they had built in the Hawthorne Hills area of Hendersonville.

 

During her time in Hendersonville Marguerite became a member of the First Congregational Church, the church choir and volunteered her services to the church by handling some of the personal communications that the church would send out to various members of the congregation.

 

It was through her association with the church, her membership in the Hendersonville Garden Club and the PEO that Marguerite would meet a most fascinating and wonderful person by the name of Mrs. Mildred Gardner. Mildred would become Marguerite’s cherished and lifelong friend. It is no exaggeration to state that Marguerites life would not have been the same without the generous friendship of Mildred.

 

Pardee Hospital enjoyed the benefit of Marguerites volunteered services for some 30 years. Marguerite, along with Mildred Gardner, would go on to play major roles in the renovation of Main Street in downtown Hendersonville. Their names are commemorated on a bronze plate viewable at one of the centrally located planters.

 

Marguerite’s mother and father were two of the first residents of Tryon Estates and they were soon to be followed by Marguerite and her husband John. They became the first tenants in their home at B-323. Marguerite leaves behind her two nephews, Matthew Van Wagner and Andrew Van Wagner whose support throughout her residence at Tryon Estates was treasured. She also leaves behind her niece Karen LeRoy Cornell in Reno Nevada, cousins out West, Ronald and Marilyn in Southern California, Anita in Idaho and Gary in Texas.

 

We deeply and sincerely thank Mr. Riddick Lamm & Roger James of Parsec Financial for their generous and caring stewardship of Robert & Lillian Van Wagner’s trust and also Peter Shanahan of Hilliard and Lyons for his kind and generous friendship and attention to Marguerite’s financial concerns. This obituary was lovingly composed by Marguerite’s first cousin, “Ron.”

 

 

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