Brian Edwin Wagner was born in Elmhurst, IL. on October 1, 1976. His life came to a tragic end on July 4, 1993, when he was the fatal passenger in a drunk driving accident. Throughout Brian’s lifetime he touched the hearts of all those who knew him. He had a magnetic personality and became friends with many people. No one would ever consider him an enemy. Brian was the life of the party who would bring a smile to everyone's face. He was a hard worker that made a difference by always trying his best. His peers embraced that quality and he cared very deeply for all of them. His devotion to family, friends and God earned him a reputation as a young man that made a positive impact.
From a very early age Brian took an interest in many activities. He aspired to follow in his older brother Mike’s footsteps as an athlete. Under Mike’s guidance Brian became a serious competitor. Whenever he had the chance to compete, he played like a champion and helped many of his teams to winning records. Brian attended Visitation Catholic School from 1983 -1990 where his athletic talent, perseverance and leadership earned him the title, Captain of the football and basketball teams. After 7th grade he attended Michael Jordan’s basketball camp and his biggest thrill was not only meeting his hero, but having M.J. award him the trophy as, “The Most Outstanding Camper”.
Brian also loved acting. In 5th and 6th grade he performed in the Visitation Arts Alive Plays . In 8th grade he starred as the lead monster in, “Little Luncheonette of Terror”. At York Community High School he was a member of the debate team where he played the part of a politician running for President. He was elected in a mock election.
During his sophomore and junior years at York, he played junior varsity football. After his junior year , track coach Joe Newton asked him if he wanted to start on the football team his senior year. Of course Brian said yes, and Coach Newton gave him a challenge – “You run on the track team and you’ll be a better football player. You won’t start or may not even compete in a track meet, but the discipline of practicing with the track team will make you a better football player.” Brian did run with the track team in the spring of 1993, with Coach Newton’s direction he gained quicker reflexes and improved greatly with his speed. The week before he died, his football coach had him practicing at the starting defensive linebacker position.
Everything Brian was involved in, he always gave 100%. He was a member of the Student Council during freshman and sophomore years and was elected president of his junior class. Brian carried this responsibility respectably among his fellow students. He was a compassionate individual who would defend what he believed was right. Brian’s charm, sense of humor and charisma was embraced and adored by his peers, elders and mentors. His enthusiasm for life and commitment to excellence still remains with us today.
We hope his story inspires others to believe in themselves and to create a lasting impact by making each moment count.