Obituary of George L Wagenseller, Sr.
George Lawrence Wagenseller, Sr., of Elm, New Jersey, passed away peacefully at home, on June 16, 2020 surrounded by his loving family. He is survived by his wife, Eleanor Ferry Wagenseller, the woman with whom he fell in love and celebrated 67 wedding anniversaries. Eleanor chose George because he was more than decent, he was pure of heart, an honorable man. For 70 years his one US Navy tattoo said it all, reading simply, “USN, Death before Dishonor.” Those who knew George know that he meant those words.
Born in Philadelphia, George grew up in Parkland, Bucks County, PA. He knew a Lower Bucks County in the 1930’s and 40’s that was very different than today. He recalled cutting wild asparagus along Route 1 and counting an hour’s worth of passing cars on just one hand – it was an age of farms and open fields in Lower Bucks. He attended Langhorne High, where he was an outstanding football player for a school that would later be known as Neshaminy High School.
George was a 4th generation great grandson of America’s Revolutionary War families. At age 17, he proudly enlisted in the United States Navy and served his country faithfully during the Korean War. It was aboard ship that George first learned about boilers, steam, combustion, and propulsion. That initiation led to a legacy career in HVAC that would sustain his family and his sons’ families.
George was a member of the Philadelphia Steamfitters’ Union, Local 420. He worked many years for HVAC contractors before joining his sons in the creation of Wagenseller Mechanical, Inc., a successful HVAC business that thrived in the South Jersey area for many years.
George could fix or build anything and he had incredibly strong technical instincts. In his final days, it was painfully fitting that his hands just kept working on machines that only his mind could see. He had worked so hard for so many years that in the end, his worker’s hands did not know how to rest.
George had many passions, including Country & Western music and tales of the old Yukon. He loved the sea and salt water fishing and had many boats with which he navigated the waters of the Great Bay and the Bass and Mullica Rivers. He was passionate about wine making and growing his grapes.
Before moving to South Jersey in 1980, George and Eleanor were original Levittown homeowners and there they raised the four children who now survive him: George Jr. (Jackie Cummings), Jeanne Borrelli (Vince), Bern (Sherie Sholly), and Barbara (Chris Laureys). George is also survived by 13 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, two sisters, Frances Hurlburt (William) and Kas Wagenseller (Rosalie) and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
George is preceded in death by his parents, Albin and Estella Herman Wagenseller and his brother and USN shipmate, Robert A. Wagenseller of Perkasie, PA.
George was all these things: a great man, loving, intelligent, generous, and talented - but let it never be said that George’s sense of humor was anything less than epic – he loved to laugh and to share a good joke! George will be dearly missed by his family and friends - but his mark is truly bold and indelible. His legacy will endure in our hearts forever.
Due to on going Covid-19 regulations, services will be private. Arrangements under the direction of COSTANTINO-PRIMO FUNERAL HOME, BERLIN NJ. To leave lasting condolences or photos, please use the links on this page.