Wilfred WagnerFood service firm managerWilfred Wagner, retired...


Wilfred Wagner

Food service firm manager

Wilfred Wagner, retired regional operations manager for a food service firm, died Sunday at Union Memorial Hospital of complications of a ruptured aneurysm. He was 79 and lived in Guilford.

He retired nearly 15 years ago from ARA Services for which he had worked for 25 years. He had lived in the Baltimore area since 1959.

He brought experience in European and hotel restaurants to the food service company.

Born in Hamburg, Germany, he began his career as a waiter in that country before moving to England in 1936 and then to New York City two years later.

He worked in hotel restaurants, including the Waldorf Astoria in New York.

He earned a degree in hotel and restaurant management from the State University of New York Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences.

During World War II, he served in the Army in military intelligence in North Africa and Europe.

A violinist and a baritone, he often performed German lieder and folk songs with his wife, a pianist and retired music teacher, at social and business events.

He was a volunteer for Meals on Wheels and traveled extensively after his retirement, making several trips around the world and to Germany and other countries.

A memorial service was planned for 2 p.m. today at First English Lutheran Church, Charles and 39th streets, Baltimore.

He is survived by his wife of 47 years, the former Hildegarde M. Pleines; a daughter, Susan Wagner Lacy; and a son, Thomas Wagner, both of New York; and two granddaughters. Dr. Gerard B. Odell, a retired professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, where he also was director of pediatric gastroenterology, died Monday of cancer at his home in Madison, Wis. He was 68.

He was formerly professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he was a pediatric liver specialist from 1956 to 1976. He left to join the faculty of the University of Wisconsin, where he established the pediatric gastroenterology department.

While at Hopkins, he was chief of the newborn service of the Women's Clinic and from 1974 to 1976 was director of the Hepato Biliary Unit. He was associated with the Department of Pediatrics at Sinai Hospital and earlier was a consultant pediatrician at the Fort Meade Army hospital.

John L. Odell, a son who lives in Baltimore, said, "He was most proud of being a scientist and devoted to research -- doing research was the whole focus of his career."

Dr. Odell was born in London and reared in the New York suburbs. He earned a bachelor's degree from New York University in 1947 and graduated from the Yale University Medical School in 1951.

While in the Navy from 1954 to 1956, he was director of pediatrics at the Navy hospital in Guam.

His marriage to the former Louise Mitchell ended in divorce.

Other survivors include his wife of 16 years, the former Katharine Vollmer of Madison; three other sons, Gerard B. Odell Jr. of Tallahassee, Fla., Timothy M. Odell of Dover, N.H., and Thomas A. Odell of Paterson, N.Y.; and eight grandchildren.

No services were held.

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