Longtime Buffalo Bison sports supporter Gary Lee Wagner was killed in a crash on his way home from the section 8AA boys hockey playoff game against St. Michael on February 18. He was remembered at a ceremony on February 28 that was attended by many former and present BHS athletes, teachers, coaches, and administrators.
At age 80, Gary was a very active member of the community, he was a participant in the Buffalo Legion, Lions Club, and was a key contributor towards many events and charities. He also impacted many players on the boys and girls high school hockey teams.
“Gary was there for everything, his support was never ending,” said Senior hockey captain Tyler Braccini. “He was such a jokester, and I will always remember that about him.”
The impact that Gary had on the Bison hockey program was felt by athletes on both the boys and girls hockey teams.
Junior hockey player David Nunn said, “Seeing Gary at all the games meant a lot to me, no matter where you were playing he would always be there.”
Gary also helped support the “Beat The Bison” intermission game to attract more fans to the hockey games. Nunn and Braccini said that Buffalo Hockey will not be the same without Gary Wagner.
Gary was born on February 15, 1940 in Turtle Lake, North Dakota. He served in the United States Army and was honorably discharged in 1965. Following his return from the army, Gary joined Diane Kay Heinen in marriage. Gary and Diane moved several times throughout the state of Minnesota before eventually settling in Buffalo in 1981.
Story by Patrick Lubben, Samuel Mahannah, and Justin Swenson