In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Sally Ann Wagner, 1934-2023

Sally Ann Wagner, 1934-2023
IMB Photo

Sally Ann Wagner, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Austria, Belgium and Germany, died June 4, 2023. She was 89.

Sally was born May 16, 1934, in Monte Vista, Colorado, to Vurland and Phyllis Henry Crook. She graduated from Albuquerque High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and received the Bachelor of Arts from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and studied at the Baptist Theological Seminary, Ruschlikon/Zurich, Switzerland.

While at the University of New Mexico, where she went to study history and English, she met and married her university sweetheart, William Lyle Wagner. They were happily married for 67 years.

While seeking appointment with the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board), Sally wrote about God’s call on her life in high school.

“It was during this period in my life that the Lord was again dealing with me. I had drifted away
from him to some extent, worldly things were what I wanted. I finally gave in to the Lord and told Him He could have His way. It was not long after this that I felt a definite call to go into mission work,” she wrote.

After the birth of their children, Candice and Mark, the family felt called to become missionaries. In 1965 the Foreign Mission Board appointed William and Sally missionaries to Belgium and Austria.

They had the opportunity to minister in all of Europe, the Middle East and Asia. After 30 years they left the mission field and settled down in Petaluma California, where Sally lived out the rest of her life sharing her gift of hospitality with kindness, gentleness and humility.

She is survived by her husband of 67 years, William; two children, Candice Colleen Hoenig (Scott) and William Mark Wagner (Carrie); and four grandchildren.

A funeral service was held June 8, at Daniels Chapel of the Roses in Santa Rosa, California.

Read an obituary here.