Cover photo for Mark Ray Wagar's Obituary
Mark Ray Wagar Profile Photo

Mark Ray Wagar

January 22, 1980 — August 17, 2023

Mark Ray Wagar

January 22, 1980 — August 17, 2023

Mark Ray Wagar came into this world like a shooting star January 22, 1980 on a cold, crisp, snowy night beginning his life jouney in Ohio .  And like a shooting star, brightening the lives of family, friends, and people literally around the globe - then gone too soon, August 17, 2023 .  Passing peacefully in his Mother’s arms, just as he was brought into this world - now with God, and family and friends who have gone home before him. Leaving behind a legacy of friendship, good fun, and dedication to country and service .

Arrangements are under the care of Forest Lawn, Cathedral City, CA   His ashes will be spread from time to time at places special to him around the country and the world  

Parents Ellen and Mark, brother Bret, and niece Leia Ellen Elizabeth Kennedy Wagar, and her mother Stephanie Lozano invite all to remember and celebrate Mark Ray.  Please feel free to share memories and photos of all the good times on this website, and/or directly with family .

In lieu of flowers the family requests that any donations be made to the Naval War College Foundation, 686 Cushing Road, Newport, RI  02841  where his name will be inscribed on their honor wall.

The link for online giving is as follows:

Family Mail or packages

1775 East Palm Canyon Drive, Suite 110-232, Palm Springs, CA  92264

Mark Ray is further survived by two loving Ohio aunt and uncle families. The Witwers  and Jarvises  

Aunt and uncle Susan and Larry Jarvis, their children, cousins Pastor Daniel and Melissa Jarvis with their 10 children, cousins Deborah and Richard Swiger with their 3 children, and cousin David Jarvis .  

Aunt and uncle Linda and Douglas Witwer, their children, cousins Natalie and Mathew Metzger with their 3 children, and cousin Nick Witwer

If you knew Mark, you knew the true spelling of fun, and service, were both spelled Mark Ray Wagar.  
Name the time . Name the place . Name the purpose .  Could be a dinner .  Could be travel .  Could be a party. Could be a game . Could be a holiday and the never ending ways he could cook and carve turkey.  Could be to help a family or friend or stranger in need.

He was there .

There was boating with Rob, Ryan, Wes, Derrick, and Mike  on a lake in Texas, or the great special times on Lake Tahoe with Rob,Jessie, Jenny, Michelle, and Bob and Lori Selleck. Probably with Trace Adkins or Toby Keith turned up loud on a patriotic holiday .

Or ski trips and holidays in Beaver Creek with John McDonald, Rob Wright, and Dr Leo Lopez - who through his close childhood friend, Dr Julio Gutierrez, and his teams, gave Mark a few more prescious years with us.  

Tailgates and big games at Ohio State with Dave and Carol Merchant and Gregg and Cheri Testerman and Bob and Robyn Siekmann, and all of their boys - and one girl .    

Introducing, early in life, proper watermelon spitting contest technique to Mark and Bret and kids of the families of Doug and Kathy Petersen, Harry and Karen Ponting, and Ray and Ginnie DeChant  

There was golf, or more like a rolling golf cart party, and summer studies at Oxford, UK,  and European travel with Mike and Donald McCann and family, and mentor Professor “Doc“ Stoddard. They had great fun and had each other’s backs to the end.

Vacations to Hawaii and Vegas and many holidays and some of those turkeys with Joanne and Don Kaplan, and daughters Alyson and Terra  

And never ending Texas sunsets and neighborhood family cookouts and gatherings with Erin Clark   Though he would not root for her Kanas City Chiefs or TCU, they watched every game needling each other whether in person or by phone. An inseparable pair  

And big games, great food and stories, and bigger prayers, with and from, Del and Ann Harris and son Nik and family  

And many more good times with friends from Ohio, California, Washington DC, Texas, the world.

And there was business -  service to the country.   Trips or meetings we often could not know much about to help a President, Senator, Congressman or Governor have a safe, organized, successful top secret meeting with a world leader . And being in the middle of a hostile conflict in a foreign land helping our finest try to bring conflict to conclusion and bring peace and common sense to oppressed people . No one knowing where he was. Or when or if he would be back . In God’s hands He was there . He was there for all of us .

Mark was a former Deputy Associate Director for The White House under President George W Bush, achieving Top Secret clearances while training at the Naval War College as a civilian and during work helping train special forces personnel.  He achieved an advanced degree from the Naval War College  with emphasis in National Security, Counter Terrorism, and Irregular Warfare. Additional studies included International Relations at New College in Oxford, England.  His undergraduate degree in Communications and International Relations was achieved at San Diego State University . Mark went on to serve as Senior Advance Operations and Press Lead for the Presidential Campaigns of Senators Mitt Romney and John McCain.  He continued private campaign consulting for various Senate, Congressional, and Gubernatorial races as well as contract advisory assignments with government and military agencies focused on homeland security and counter terrorism.

Mark was there for us   All of us   And he loved every minute with good family and friends.  

God Bless Mark Ray Wagar  



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