Reinhard Wegner

February 7, 1929 ~ January 21, 2024 (age 94) 94 Years Old

Reinhard Wegner Obituary

On January 21st, 2024, Reinhard Wegner, age 94 and 349 days, was called home peacefully to heaven to be with his wife Betty, surrounded by his family in his last days.

Reinhard was born to Johann and Marie Weczerek on Thursday, February 7, 1929 in the village of Kauthen, Czechoslovakia. In 1936, his dad changed their surname to Wegner to sound more German. During his childhood his family moved around because the German borders were redrawn in Silesia and his parents wanted him to have a German education.

At the age of 16, Reinhard was drafted into the German army and was stationed in Prague at the end of the war. He was captured by the Americans and was discharged. He walked home 60 kilometers, never looking back. Reinhard and his family resettled in Pforzheim, Germany where he graduated from high school.

In 1951, Reinhard was awarded a Rotary Exchange student scholarship to the University of Akron where he first met his future in-laws and then the love of his life, Betty Reinhardt. Reinhard and Betty married in 1952 in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.

Upon graduating from the University of Akron, Reinhard was employed by the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. In 1967, Reinhard and Betty and their four children moved to Fulda, Germany for two years and then Brussels, Belgium. Their ten years in Europe were spent traveling and making friends and treasured memories that have lasted a lifetime. He never missed an opportunity to take the family on educational outings: ie. historic sites like Normandy, Battle of the Bulge Museum, countless cathedrals, medieval castles, museums, military cemeteries and even his and Betty’s home towns in Czechoslovakia and Hungary. He never forgot where he came from and made sure his children knew as well, so they could pass their heritage to their children. He was instrumental in passing along his father-in-law’s tradition of making Hungarian “Opa” Sausage which continues to this day, five generations later. All Wegners are aware of what it meant to be a refugee and what it took to start a new life in a new country.

Reinhard was a most loving and caring son, brother, husband, dad, Opa and neighbor. He was always doing things for other people. He was famous for thinking outside-the-box. He was resourceful and the king of repurposing unwanted items, ie. turning the neighbor’s discarded dishwasher into a three-tiered rotisserie grill. He was brilliant! He loved numbers and maps. He taught us all how to read maps, do math and build bonfires. He loved the outdoors: hunting, fishing, bike riding, flying kites, and gardening. Sunflowers were a sign of hope to him and he grew them every year. He was quick to teach anyone willing to learn. Opa included his grandchildren and great-grandchildren in many of his outdoor adventures. He often asked his family if they had a project for him to do. He built anything from Murphy bed to a specialized Raku kiln. There was no task he wouldn’t tackle. He would do anything for his family. In summary, he was a man who embodied love by his actions rather than words.

Reinhard is preceded in death by his loving wife of 70 years, Betty Wegner, brother Erich Wegner, parents Johann & Marie Wegner, and in-laws Philip and Elizabeth Reinhardt. He is survived by his four children and their spouses: Karin & Dick Warner, Eric & Debbie Wegner, Renee & Joe Maggelet, Heidi and Geoff Hill. 10 grandchildren: Bradley & Mandy Wegner, Nick & Leann Wegner, Mike & Danielle Wegner, Ben Wegner & fiancée Shanley Fankhauser, Nathan & Amanda Maggelet, Natalie & Sean Prior, Nick & Andrea Maggelet, Nadia & Justin Davis, Brett Hill & fiancé Sydney Arillo, and Maxx Hill and 9 great-grandchildren with one on the way. He is also survived by his sister Christl Donelan and nieces and nephews.

Reinhard’s greatest legacy is the family he leaves behind and loved so dearly.

Mass of Christian Burial 12pm, Friday, January 26 at St. Hilary Catholic Church, 2750 W. Market Street, Fairlawn, Ohio, where friends may call 11:00-12pm.

Internment at Mount Peace Cemetery.

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Donations may be made to Gennesaret at whose mission is to provide interim housing, food, training and support services for those families who are earnestly seeking to improve their lives and living conditions. Their commitment is to do this without government funding or paid staff, but by uniting our community in the true spirit of service. Gennesaret does not promote any religious organization or practices; however, it was founded on Christian principles. Emcompassing their mission is our unbending goal to treat those whom we serve with respect to enable them to retain their dignity in difficult and stressful times. Reinhard would support these values. His wife Betty volunteered here.


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January 26, 2024

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
St. Hilary Catholic Church
2750 W. Market St
Fairlawn, Ohio 44333

Mass of Christian Burial
January 26, 2024

12:00 PM
St. Hilary Catholic Church
2750 W. Market St
Fairlawn, Ohio 44333


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