Michael J. Wagner, who served in the Maryland Senate and was a Glen Burnie business owner, died of cancer early Thursday at Baltimore Washington Medical Center in Glen Burnie. The Ferndale resident was 72.
"He worked hard for the people he represented," said former Anne Arundel County Executive Robert R. Neall, who also served in the Senate. "He was effective as a legislator and was good at it."
Mr. Neall described Mr. Wagner as "a big part of our county's political history for a couple of decades."
Born in Baltimore and raised in Anne Arundel County, Mr. Wagner attended Glen Burnie High School and later earned a General Educational Development certificate. He received an associate's degree at the University of Baltimore.
As a young man, Mr. Wagner drove a truck for his parents' business, Harry and May Wagner's Poultry and Eggs. He and family members took the business, H & M Wagner & Sons, and enlarged it to include food service and restaurant supplies. He also owned Michael's Eighth Avenue, a catering business known for bull and oyster roasts, weddings and banquets.
A Democrat, Mr. Wagner was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1974 and served from 1975 to 1977. That year, the Anne Arundel County Democratic Central Committee chose him to fill a vacant state Senate seat. He served in the Senate until 1979 and again from 1983 to 1994.
He was a founder and president of the Anne Arundel County Sports Hall of Fame.
Plans for a funeral service at the Abundant Life Church in Glen Burnie are incomplete.
Survivors include his wife of 52 years, the former Carol Ann Hudson; two sons, Michael J. Wagner Jr. and Scott Paul Wagner, both of Ferndale; two brothers, Gardner S. Wagner of Severna Park and George Wagner of Ferndale; a sister, Peggy Gellert of Severna Park; and five grandchildren.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun