Cover photo for Beatrice J. Wagner's Obituary
Beatrice J. Wagner Profile Photo
1924 Beatrice 2023

Beatrice J. Wagner

July 22, 1924 — July 1, 2023

Fergus Falls, MN

To watch the livestream of Bonnie's Celebration of Life please click the following link:


Beatrice “Bonnie” Wagner, 98, Fergus Falls, MN, formerly Moorhead, MN, passed away at home under Hospice care on July 1, 2023, with two of her daughters by her side.  She was an amazing wife, mom and grandmother and she will be greatly missed.

Bonnie was born on July 22, 1924, to Frank and Millie Bugbee on their farm near Sherbrooke, ND. She was the oldest of four children. She grew up on the farm during the Depression when transportation was by horse and wagon/sleigh.  It was a hard, simple life where they mostly lived off the land and what they could grow. They also created ways to have fun. Bonnie attended church and grade school in Sherbrooke, high school in Finley, ND, and then Mayville Teachers College with her sister Dot. During the two summers between college, she and Dot helped the war effort in Portland, OR and Sacramento, CA, doing factory work and attending dances for soldiers on leave. Her first teaching job was in a one room country school where she would arrive early and fire up the wood burning stove for heat.  She and Dot then taught school in Rawlings, WY, for three years. When she was 22, she met Charles “Les” Wagner at a dance at the Crystal Ballroom in Fargo, ND on a blind date.  They had a long-distance courtship for three years and were married on June 14, 1950. They welcomed their first child Barb, in June 1951. Cindy came soon after, in January 1953. Patti “Trish” was born six years later in 1959. During those years they lived in Fargo and Bonnie taught at the Horace Mann Elementary School and at a private preschool at the Methodist Church in Fargo. They moved to Moorhead in 1964 and soon after Bonnie started helping Les with his insurance agency.

Bonnie was very involved in the community. She and Les were active members of Grace United Methodist Church in Moorhead.  She was a Sunday School teacher, in several women’s groups and helped start and run the church library.  She was active for many years in the sewing club, several bridge clubs, a book club, Welcome Wagon, League of Women Voters and Business and Professional Women. When her girls were young, she was active in Bluebirds, Campfire Girls and school PTA’s.  She worked as an election judge for many years.

Bonnie enjoyed traveling and took many trips with Les, and sometimes as a family to Europe, Hawaii, Canada and in the US.  In 1983 she took a special month-long trip to England with her Aunt Edy to do research on the Bugbee family which included many historical family sites and homes, along with an 18-day bus tour of the British Isles. 

Favorite times were spent with family, which was always the most important thing to her.  Many summer Sunday afternoons were spent on their homemade pontoon on Cotton Lake.  Bonnie loved making birthdays special and made amazing themed decorated cakes. She was an accomplished seamstress and made many of the girls’ clothes as well as clothes for their dolls.

Bonnie dearly loved her six grandchildren.  She attended as many school, birthday, sports and special events as she could. Grandparents’ Day at the school was a favorite. She created a playroom for their visits and always had fun activities planned. As they grew up, she made sure to always send a birthday card with money, including special cards to her two great-grandchildren. For holidays she put together special gift bags and made sure everyone in the family got one.

Bonnie was lovingly cared for by her daughter, Patti “Trish” and partner, Brad, in their group home for the last 8 1/2 years.  Thanks to Hospice of the Red River Valley for making it possible for her to pass in her own bed and home.

Bonnie is survived by her three daughters; Barb (Dwayne) Knutsen, Montevideo, MN, Cindy Wagner, Show Low, AZ, Patti “Trish” (Brad Kastelle), Fergus Falls, MN; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Les; parents, Frank and Millie Bugbee; and siblings, Dorothy (Mel) McCoy, Kenny (Donna) Bugbee and Elayne (Milton) Smith.

Nature seems to close each period of our lives, and instead of looking back, we look ahead, but enjoy where we are in the present moment – Bonnie


Celebration of Life for Bonnie will be held Friday, August 11, 2023, at 11 AM, in Grace United Methodist Church of Moorhead.  Visitation will be one hour prior.  Burial will be in Moorhead Memorial Gardens.  

Bonnie’s Celebration of Life will be livestreamed. The link to the view the livestream please visit the following link:


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Beatrice J. Wagner, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, August 11, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Grace United Methodist Church

1120 17th St S, Moorhead, MN 56560

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Friday, August 11, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Grace United Methodist Church

1120 17th St S, Moorhead, MN 56560

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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