LDAO, its staff, board and Chapters across Ontario are saddened by the passing of Diane Wagner

Diane Lynne Wagner
September 26, 1949 – June 27, 2023
Diane Lynne Wagner, neé Fulton

It is with deep sadness that we announce the sudden and unexpected passing of Diane Wagner, 73, on the evening of June 27, 2023, at North York General Hospital.

Diane was born in Edmonton, Alberta, the first of four children of Bill and May Fulton. After spending time in Pasadena, CA, and then in Columbus, OH, with her paternal grandparents, the family returned to settle in her mother’s hometown of Toronto, ON. After completing high school at age 16, Diane graduated manga cum laude with an honours BA from Queen’s University in 1970, followed by a diploma from the Institute of Child Study at the University of Toronto in 1972. That same year she married Gerry Wagner, who would be her husband of over 50 years. Together they would build a loving home and family, raise two daughters, and become doting grandparents. Diane spent a decade as a full-time parent when her girls were young, and then began a career of over thirty years with the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario. There she served many roles, from advising parents and managing the library, to consulting on public policy and teaching other professionals. She was especially proud of her work with educators in First Nations communities. Diane became a member of the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto in 2001, and was soon an integral and beloved part of congregational life, devoting time and attention both formally and informally to the care of the community and its members. She loved spending time in nature, gardening or exploring, being among the birds and the trees or by the water.

Diane is survived by her husband of fifty years, Gerald (Gerry) Wagner, her daughters Elaina Evans and Laura Wagner, her son-in-law Ian Summerscales, her grandchildren Daya and Jasper Evans and Adelyn and Emmeline (Emmy) Summerscales, and her great-grandson Elias Bartlett; also by her mother, May Fulton, brother Dave Fulton (Linda Goggin), sisters Christine Hegeman (Benjamin) and Kerri Bryan (Neil), and their children and grandchildren, and by many in-laws. She will be deeply missed by her family and dear friends Gayle and Glenn Reid and Brian and June Summerscales, and by the many members and friends of First Unitarian.

The family deeply appreciates the efforts of the Emergency Department staff at North York General Hospital, which made it possible for Gerry, Elaina, and Laura to be with Diane in her final moments. We thank them for their persistence and kindness.

Diane was an incredibly kind-hearted and accepting person. From caring for her nonagenarian mother, to supporting her husband through health challenges, from taking grandchildren to camps and after-school activities to chairing a weekly woman’s group and welcoming newcomers to her church, Diane gave so much of herself to everyone in her life. She touched the lives of so many, and will be deeply missed.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Child Haven International, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières, or the Stephen Lewis Foundation.