Carmen Ramona Wagler 1935 - 2023

At the age of 88, Carmen Ramona (Kepford) Wagler went peacefully to meet her heavenly family on November 1, 2023, from her home in Willamina, Oregon. She was born January 30, 1935, in Chehalis, Washington, to Thomas Charles and Faye (Senter) Kepford. When she was four years old, her family moved from Washington to Kansas City, Missouri.  After the war, they moved back to Washington, then to Grand Ronde, Oregon. That is where Carmen spent her youth, growing up in the country, taking care of her baby brother, Jim, and riding her favorite horse. Carmen went to grade school in Grand Ronde, and graduated from Willamina High School in 1953. She planned to join the Air Force after school, but she was swept off her feet by Ray D. Wagler, from Gold Creek Road, and on July 11 at the Hopewell Mennonite Church, they were married. Carmen became a housewife and mother to four children, Evelyn Shenk of Prince George, Canada, Carol Skondon of Canby, Michael (Chris) Wagler of Willamina, and Nancy (Terry) Wagler-Serface of Texas. Carmen and Ray were blessed with 68 years of marriage.

Carmen lived her life in Willamina and the Grand Ronde area until she settled down on their farm on Fort Hill Road. After raising her children, Carmen’s bug for traveling began. She, and sometimes Ray, traveled abroad and in the States many times. Carmen loved history and wanted to see as much of the world as she could and put her toes in every ocean. A few trips even took her to Africa and Mexico for mission work. Carmen made many trips to Canada to see her daughter and family, and even a cruise to Alaska on a ferry boat. Her favorite place, however, was Hawaii, and she traveled there many, many times. For fun, she enjoyed playing volleyball with her high school classmates, sewing, painting, doing needlepoint, singing at the Sheridan Care Center with Paul, Dorothy and John, and caroling with the Church of the Wildwood at the Alveta Home and Maple Leaf Home in Grand Ronde. To support her love of travel and get out to meet new people, she became a waitress at the Hi-Spot with Marilyn Rosenbalm and Verda Felton. She worked at the Strawberry Patch, making peanut brittle with Vaneta Buswell, and served tea with her friends during the local art tour. Carmen also enjoyed working with Richie Mosser and Marilyn at Piontek’s Breadworks in Willamina. Carmen retired as a waitress from Fort Hill Restaurant, where she enjoyed many years talking and serving the locals with her good friends, Joyce Elmer, Terry Goforth (owner), and Sandy Sims.

Carmen was always full of energy and life; she never sat down; always on the go. You could find her cutting and hauling wood, mowing the lawn, painting the fence, or weed eating the driveway. She loved going to garage sales, watching her Cowboys win!, roses of any color, pearls, sipping tea, drinking coke and eating chocolate (she said that kept her young). She was a doting wife, loving mom, caring sister and wonderful gran. Carmen will be dearly missed by her family and friends.

Carmen was preceded in death by her parents; husband; brother, Charles David Kepford; and son-in-law, Glen Shenk. She is survived by her children; her brother, James Stephen Kepford (Linda) of Montague, California; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

A Celebration of Life to be announced at a later date. Per her wishes, a private burial will be held in Hawaii.

“Aloha, Sweet Lady, till we meet again.”


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