Ross Wagner, age 87, passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, just five months after his wife Carol.

  Ross was born on the Wagner homestead north of Olivet, South Dakota, on a hot Depression-year summer day, the son of Herman and Eleanor Wagner. Since his twin sister Reta Mae preceded him by 15 minutes, he was forever locked into the position as the youngest of six siblings: DeLora Waldner, Audrey Olson, Phyllis Wagner, Carl Wagner and Reta Gage.

  He was a graduate of Scotland High School in South Dakota where he played tuba in the band and football on its team, the Highlanders. Music was a strong forte in his life, whether in listening enjoyment, in soloing in the country church, doing duet with Reta or participating in church choirs. As a youth he wanted ample time for preparation so as to sing a message, and not, as he said, “just stand up there and mumble the words.”

  Ross married Carol Sieman in the Church of God in Brookings, SD on Sept. 1, 1957.

  His lifetime hobby enjoyed with his wife Carol, was ornithology. He accumulated a vast knowledge of birds as well as excellent photography.

  It was in the Wittenberg Evangelical country church of Olivet, SD that Ross committed his life to the Christ that he followed in an exemplary way from a young farm boy to his passing into the heavenly realm.

  Ross attended South Dakota State University in Brookings, graduating with a BS degree in agriculture with a major in dairy manufacturing and a minor in bacteriology. While at the college, he became a member of the ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps) and spent time on the East Coast in training. He is listed in Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.

  He maintained a lifetime career as a products grader for the government, sometimes travelling from one dairy plant to another on inspection tours. His career began in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; however, he worked in Minnesota (Land O’Lakes), Kansas, Missouri (Kraft), California and Washington (Darigold). His work appointments were determined by government needs.

  He was preceded in death by his wife, Carol; his parents; siblings DeLora Waldner, Audrey Olson and Carl Wagner; and nephews Carl Waldner, Ken Gage and Roger Wagner.

  Ross is remembered as a gentlemanly, responsible person, a caring friend to everyone he ever met.

  Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Gillies Funeral Home and Cremation Services.