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Cynthia Fortanier Wagar

  • On June 3, 2020

Cynthia Fortanier Wagar, age 88, entered eternity on June 2, 2020 from complications of congestive heart failure. She passed away at her home, as she always wished, in Upper St. Clair, PA. Her remains will be interred at Oakwood Cemetery in Troy, New York, next to Bill Wagar, her husband of 44 years, her parents, Carrie and Isaac Fortanier and many other ancestors in a private, graveside service.

Cynthia was born and raised in Troy, New York. She attended the Emma Willard School in Troy from kindergarten through high school and graduated in 1949. In this she followed her mother, Carrie Spicer, furthering a tradition of higher education for women in her family. She went further and attended the Pennsylvania College for Women – now Chatham University – in Pittsburgh, from which she received her bachelor’s degree in 1953. In this she set a new standard for the education of women in her family that has been met or exceeded by all her female descendants.

On June 22, 1953, she was married to N. William “Bill” Wagar II, the great love of her life, after a long courtship. Between 1954-1962, she had four children, all of whom survive her and to whose upbringing, education, and welfare she was devoted. She and her husband moved to Glens Falls, NY in 1955 where they and her family lived for nearly 20 years. In 1974 she and her family relocated to Pittsburgh, PA where she lived for the rest of her long life.

She was an outstanding amateur and sometimes professional cook and loved entertaining family and friends in her homes. Her Christmas and New Years’ Eve parties were legendary in her day. She was an avid gardener, as was her father, belonged to several gardening clubs all her life, and passed this passion on to some of her children. Her homes were always beautifully landscaped with gardens designed, planted, and maintained by her own hand. She was also a passionate bridge player and was a member of numerous bridge clubs for her entire life.

She was an only child to Carrie and Isaac Fortanier of Troy, NY, who long predeceased her. She is survived by four children: Nelson W. “Chip” Wagar, III of Mandeville, LA; Jeffrey Keith Wagar of New York, NY; Caroline Wagar Wilson of Silver Spring, MD and David Fortanier Wagar of Columbus, OH. She is also survived by five grandchildren: William N. Wagar III and Sarah Wagar Hickman of Mandeville, LA; Anna Wilson of Sarasota, FL; Holt and Flint Wagar of Columbus, OH, and two great-grandchildren: Grady and Fisher Hickman, of Mandeville, LA.

She would be pleased for her remaining friends and well-wishers to donate to the Emma Willard School of which she remained a proud alumnus all her life. Arrangements entrusted to Pittsburgh Cremation and Funeral Care, Robinson Township, PA.

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