Surrounded by his loving family, the Reverend George Jamison Waggoner died peacefully at his home on Wednesday, October 9, 2019. He was 88.
Born on July 17, 1921 in Jacksonville, Florida he was a son of the late George and Stella (Milan) Waggoner. He lived most of his life in Waltham, Massachusetts.
He was the beloved husband of Dorothy O’Neill Waggoner. George’s fondest memory of Dorothy was ‘when she brought forth our three children.’
He was the brother of the late Dr. James Waggoner, married to Margaret Waggoner, and the late Stella (Bunny) Waggoner Hunter, married to Reverend Robert Hunter.
George was the devoted father of Kim Patrice Washisko, married to David Washisko, Scott Jamison Waggoner and Darren George Waggoner, married to Crissy Lynn Waggoner. He is the grandfather of Darren and Crissy’s nine-year-old son, Jamison Waggoner. Jamison, who called him “Opah,” was George’s “pride and joy,” and George spent many hours sharing stories about Jamison’s triumphs playing Little League Baseball.
In addition to his immediate family, George leaves a large extended family including in-laws, Margaret Waggoner, Robert Hunter, Peggy O’Neill and Julie O’Neill and many dear friends.
George graduated from Julia Landon High School in Jacksonville, Florida. He received his undergraduate degree from Temple College in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and his graduate level Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree after completing studies at Northern Baptist Seminary in Chicago, Illinois and Andover Newton Theological School in Newton, Massachusetts.
George worked for several different companies over the years, primarily in the field of marketing. These included Newton-Waltham Bank, where he met Dorothy, Data General Corporation and Hanscom Federal Credit Union. To celebrate his retirement from Hanscom, they held a large banquet in his honor, a rare occurrence in the modern world.
George also served as the pastor at the Lincoln Park Baptist Church in West Newton, Massachusetts for over forty years. He recently said that his “legacy” was his work over the past decade mentoring a small group of Chinese men and women as they grew their small church into a large and thriving congregation at Lincoln Park Baptist Church.
George was a gifted public speaker, having delivered thousands of sermons and other speeches in his lifetime. He never used notes, and had a knack for speaking clearly, concisely and compellingly. George enjoyed writing, and was the author of many articles and stories, including a published children’s book entitled “A Child’s Book of Christmas: A Read-Aloud Book in English and Chinese for Children of All Ages.” George also loved to sing. In his younger days, he was a member of a Barbershop Quartet. More recently, he was a member of Boston Saengerfest Men’s Chorus, performing both locally, including concerts at New York’s Carnegie Hall and at Boston’s Symphony Hall, as well as internationally, including concerts at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
His love of the arts extended to classical music, literature and poetry. When he wasn’t singing (or whistling!), we could find him listening to music, Debussy was his favorite, reading a book, or having deep and meaningful discussions on a wide range of subjects with his family and friends. He also enjoyed cooking, photography and skiing. He looked forward to his daily crossword puzzle and sudoku, and was unbeatable at trivia. George was also an ardent fan of both the Red Sox and the Patriots, even during the many years when they never made the play-offs. He was particularly fond of Thanksgiving, likely because it included some of his favorite things – football, food and of course family.
George was an avid traveler. His favorite destinations included Hawaii, Spain and, more recently, Ireland. He always enjoyed trying out the local cuisine. His most treasured trips, however, were to Jekyll Island, Georgia, where he and his immediate and extended family vacationed many times over the years. He was particularly fond of the time he and his brother, Jim, spent together while on the island.
The only thing on George’s “bucket list” that he did not achieve was “Cooperstown with Jamison.” But Jamison will go someday soon, and he will bring Opah with him in his heart.
George is now with his Father in Heaven. He will be missed by many.
Family and friends will honor and remember George’s life by gathering for calling hours in The Joyce Funeral Home, 245 Main Street (Rte. 20), Waltham on Tuesday, October 15th from 5 to 8 p.m. His funeral service will be celebrated on Wednesday in The Lincoln Park Baptist Church, 1450 Washington St, West Newton at 10 a.m. The Rev. Michael Harvey will officiate. Burial will follow in Mount Feake Cemetery, Waltham.
Memorials in his name may be made to The Lincoln Park Baptist Church, 1450 Washington St, West Newton, MA 02465.