Obituary: Lawrence Wagner, 82, of Ludington

September 25, 2023

Larry Wagner

Obituary: Lawrence Wagner, 82, of Ludington

Lawrence “Larry” William Wagner, 82, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family at Lake Michigan Senior Living near their home in Ludington, on September 21, 2023.

He was born in Royal Oak on August 29, 1941, to Wilbert and Edna (Morrison) Wagner. His family moved to their farm west of Shelby when Larry was 6-years-old. Larry graduated from Shelby High School in 1958. On September 3rd, 1960, he married his high school sweetheart, Sharon Rider. After graduating from Michigan State University in 1963, he taught auto mechanics for five years at Waterford Kettering High School before returning home to teach at Hart High School for 12 years where he was the first industrial arts teacher to ever receive the Teacher of the Year award.

In the summer of 1969, he started a summer business selling dune buggy parts in his parent’s yard under an apple tree. From that side job, Appletree Automotive grew into a full-time business in Silver Lake where Larry built dune buggies, fabricated frames, and sold parts, with the help of talented employees and his family. The family also owned and operated a neighboring business, Duneland, for eight years.

In his spare time, Larry loved racing at the hill climbs and sand drags with his two daughters and many friends from the sand drag racing community. He also volunteered his time through community organizations like the United Methodist Church of Ludington, HELP Ministries, Lions Club of Hart, and the Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce. In 2005, Larry and Sharon sold Appletree and retired, where Larry enjoyed landscaping at their home in Ludington and traveling.

Larry is survived by his wife of 63 years, Sharon; their children, Kristi Wagner-Villemure of Holland, Shelby (Jon) Hughes of Pentwater; three granddaughters, Lauren and Brooke Villemure and Abby Hughes; brother, John (Loraine) Wagner; sister, Catherine (Ronald) Aulerich; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and nephew, Gregory Aulerich.

Cremation has taken place and a private graveside service will be held at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Larry Wagner Appletree Automotive Skilled Trades Scholarship Fund already established through the Community Foundation for Oceana County online here or by mail, P.O. Box 902, Pentwater, MI 49449 or to the Crystal Valley Care Fund online here or by mail,  PO Box 451 Hart, MI 49420.

Arrangements were entrusted to Oak Grove Funeral Home of Ludington, www.OakGroveLudington.com.

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