Obituary: Barbara Lois Johnson Wagner, 96, of Ludington

January 21, 2020

Barbara Wagner

Obituary: Barbara Lois Johnson Wagner, 96, of Ludington

Barbara Lois Johnson Wagner, 96, of Ludington, died peacefully on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at Ludington Woods Living Center.  Barbara, known best by friends and family as Lois, was born on March 18, 1923 in Grand Rapids, the daughter of Hjalmer “Harry” and Judith (Erickson) Peterson.  She graduated from Grand Rapids Creston High School with the class of 1941, and attended the Lucids Secretarial School in Grand Rapids before working as a stenographer for a Grand Rapids Radio Station.

Barbara and her family celebrated Swedish Christmas and spent many summers at the home of her Grandma Erickson in Ludington where she would meet her future husband Paul Johnson, a local farmer.  They married in 1946 and settled on their farm in Ludington.  Barbara and Paul celebrated 50 years together before Paul preceded her in death in 1997.  Barbara married Aldis Wagner in 2003 and he preceded her in death the following year in 2004.

Barbara was a longtime member of Trinity Evangelical Free Church in Ludington. Her family was instrumental in starting it as the Swedish Free Evangelical Mission Church in 1882. Barbara served many years as a Sunday school teacher and enjoyed singing in the church choir.  She was currently a member of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Ludington.  Barbara loved celebrating the holidays, especially Christmas as it allowed her to honor her Swedish heritage with her decorating.  She always loved driving around the area observing the variety of Christmas displays and lights in the community.  During the summer months she looked forward to traveling along the Lake Michigan shoreline and enjoyed watching the S.S. Badger journey to and from Wisconsin.

Barbara was preceded in death by her husbands Paul and Aldis; her parents; her sister Carol Anderson; and her brother Robert Peterson.  She is survived by a cousin, Ted Peterson of Grand Rapids. She will be greatly missed by her daughters Paulette Johnson of Denmark, Patricia (Paul) Larson of Tucson, Ariz., and Janet (Greg Cabot) Johnson of Ludington; her granddaughter Marianne Henriksen (Mathias Bracher) of Denmark, and a soon-to-arrive great-grandson; as well as many nieces and nephews. Barbara will also be remembered by Aldis’ son Jim (Cindy) Wagner, and Aldis’ stepchildren Carole Ego, Patricia Coyle, David Coyle, and Jim Coyle; along with numerous step-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held for Barbara at 1 p.m. on Friday, January 31, 2020 at Cornerstone Baptist Church with Rev. Ryan White officiating.  Burial will take place at Lakeview Cemetery in Ludington next to her husband Paul.  Friends may meet with her family at the church on Friday from noon until time of services.  Those who wish to remember Barbara with a memorial donation are asked to consider the Foreign Missions of Cornerstone Church.

Please visit her memory page at to leave a memory or tribute of Barbara for her family, or to light a candle in her memory.

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