Wayne Lager

Wayne R. Lager

Saturday, November 21st, 2020
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Wayne Rollin Lager went to the Lord on Saturday November 21st following a brief illness at Mercy Ascension Hospital in Oshkosh, the result of COVID-19 complications.
Wayne was born on June 3, 1947 in Milwaukee to Rollin and Eleanor Gray Lager. He was the 3rd of eight children. In 1957 the family moved to Markesan, WI where in 1965, he graduated from Markesan High School.
In August of 1965 Wayne enlisted into the Navy and served our nation until August of 1968. His final deployment was to the China Lake Naval Station, California, where he was an aviation technician, the first step toward his goal of becoming a commercial Airline Pilot.
In 1969 Wayne enrolled at the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh and graduated in 1975. He made Oshkosh his home since attending the University.
While attending UW-O Wayne worked for Basler Flight Service in Oshkosh. He worked his way up through the ranks, first as a line boy, and eventually as a Captain. While working for Basler Wayne “cut his teeth” on the DC-3, an airplane he logged many, many hours, his proudest aviation accomplishment. Wayne was always grateful to Warren and Pat Basler for giving him his start in a career that he dreamed of since high school.
Wayne worked for Midstate Airlines Stevens Point, WI from 1981 to 1987, when the company dissolved.
From 1987 to 1991 Wayne flew for Midway Airlines located in Chicago, until it went out of business.
After a very brief period of employment with Braniff International Airways, Wayne finally landed his dream job as a pilot/captain for Midwest Airlines, in 1993. According to airline industry mandates, he was required to retire at age 60. So, even as a dedicated employee he retired on June 3, 2007.
On November 5, 2018 Wayne married Dale Jean Both at the First Congregation Church of Ripon.
Wayne was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers: David (Linda), Glenn, and Verne; and nephew, Thad (Kerry) Lager.
Wayne is survived by his wife, Dale Jean; sister-in law, Linda Lager of Markesan: siblings: Jim (Barbara) of Atlanta, Ellen (Lon) Kolaks of Fenton, MO, Arvid (significant other Karen Evenson) of Mount Pleasant, WI, and Vicky (Gary) Kolaks of St. Louis, MO; seven nieces and nephews, as well as great nieces and nephews; In-laws: Linda (Jeff) Kroll of Van Dyne, Barbara Hartl of Fond du Lac, Jackie (Augustus) Campos of Rialto, CA, and Tracy Pruett of California. He had many, many friends in Oshkosh and beyond.
As much as he loved aviation, his greater passion was trains. Whenever possible, he would travel Amtrak over any other mode of transportation, including flying. He was a member of the Milwaukee Road Historical Association since the 1990’s and was a regular contributor to its mission to restore steam locomotives.
Wayne loved anything old, especially cars and classic movies. He had a brilliant mind for old cars and could identify a car from a distance by make, model and year.
Due to care and concern for public safety, no service will be held. A Celebration of Life will be planned at a future date.
Any memorials can be made to the Milwaukee Road Historical Association: MRHA PO Box 307, Antioch, IL 60002-0307, or to the Oshkosh Humane Society.
The family wishes to extend a deep sincere appreciation to all of the staff of Mercy Ascension who provided exceptional care to Wayne during this difficult time. YOU ARE HEROES!
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3 trees have been planted in memory of Wayne R. Lager

The Thomas family

Posted at 06:00pm
Our warmest condolences,

3 trees were planted in the memory of Wayne Lager

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Allen Ohm

Posted at 06:35am
Allen Ohm

I had the good fortune of sharing many hours in the flight deck of a Midwest (Express) Airlines DC-9 with Wayne. He always had great stories to tell about buying and fixing cars, as well as his time spent volunteering at the Mid-Continent Railroad Museum. We shared a love for trains and could go on for hours in conversations on that subject. His kindness and warmth would always shine brightly from his modest demeanor. A true gentleman. My condolences to the Lager family for the loss of a wonderful man.

Ken Hojnacki

Posted at 11:25am
Wayne was trainman on my first day as engineer at MidContinent (see Fred Vergenz photo). He was a fun guy to work with and a great sense of humor. Never hit it right on my Midwest flights to have him at the controls but the crews all knew him and had good things to say. Missed working with him these most recent years and will remember him fondly in the future. High green, Wayne.

Frederick Vergenz

Posted at 09:15pm
Wayne volunteered with me at the Mid-Continent Railway Museum in North Freedom WI. I worked in the shop and on trains with Wayne in the 1990's. Kathy and I always looked forward to visiting with Wayne & Dale at the MCRY Spring and Fall Banquets. Out thoughts and prayers go out to the Lager family.

Ken Hojnacki Photo: Left to right: Engineer Ken Hojnacki, Fireman Al Joyce, Trainman Wayne Lager, Conductor Fred Vergenz.

Barbara Hartl

Posted at 11:37pm
Wayne was my sister Dale's one and only "true love "! They had dated in college, neither had married until 2 years ago...They were so happy! My heart breaks for Dale.

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