Dr. Susan Wagner

In the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 23, 2016, Susan Alison Wagner passed away after a two month battle with cancer.  Her sons were by her side.  Susan inspired students her entire professional career with her compassionate and insightful methods and commitment to life long learning.  In a sense, we who knew her were all her students.  She lived an unusually integrated and authentic life of caring – for her children, her family, and others who crossed her path.

Born on October 14, 1950, in Bethlehem, PA, Susan grew up on Long Island with two brothers and loving parents.  They swam and sailed in the bay around Centerport Harbor, played in the Atlantic Ocean waves, and enjoyed life together in the woodsy neighborhood around Coolidge Drive.  After high school, she graduated from the State University of New York, Cortland in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science, then continued her education with a Masters of Science from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1975.  She taught physical education in public schools between her personal education pursuits until she landed a kinesiology faculty position at Texas A&M University, College Station in 1977, where she taught for 38 years.  At Texas A&M Susan continued her own education, earning a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction in 2008 and becoming a Clinical Professor.  Two Aggie Fish Camps bore her name, she was departmental Teacher of the Year three times, and received the Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award, among other honors and awards.

Susan taught all her life and loved it.  She thrived on the interaction, always sharpening her techniques and approach, and working to draw out the spirit of inquiry in her students.  That was true into this very semester when she passed away.  She had a way of laying out the information and drawing the students to it and through it such that they felt they themselves had thought of it somehow.  It was a collaborative, non-judgemental approach, yet at it’s core lay critical thinking at it’s finest.

In College Station, Susan married Lance Lowy and they had three children together.  Zach, Dutch, and Marshall (spaced a few years apart) became the subjects of a motor skills development video she created and used in her classes to show the age-related progression of physical skills.  Devoted to her children, she kept book at little league games, ferried small soccer players around, and created a stable, patiently disciplined household where young people could develop into emotionally healthy adults.  And they have.  She helped found Friends Church, her memorial service venue this Friday, April 1, 2016, at 10:00 AM followed by a reception on site at 2200 Southwood Drive in College Station.  Susan served for a decade on the local School Board, finishing as President.  She worked as an education consultant, once travelling to Doha, Qatar to offer curriculum development guidance, and she worked in her home doing laundry and cooking.  An avid bicylist, she rode to work daily, taught bike safety courses around the state, and was a member of Rails to Trails, a national program to convert abandoned railways into scenic bike trails.  Susan lived her physical education, teaching Pilates, exploring Cross-fit techniques, practicing yoga, and swimming regularly.  She served as a sponsor for women struggling with alcoholic family members.  She met her second husband, Chuck Rhea, in College Station and blessed me with her last 12 years.  Exploring prayer, meditation, and worship together, we developed an intimacy which sustained us and expanded our spiritual lives.  We lived across the street from a local park, and took the grandchildren to feed the ducks and ride bikes as often as the kids would visit.  Susan lived a full and wholesome life.

Susan was preceded in death by her father, John Harold Wagner Jr and her brother John Harold Wagner III.

Survivors include her husband, Charles “Chuck” Rhea; sons and daughters-in-law, Zach and Carisse Lowy, Dutch and Meggie Lowy, Marshall Lowy; mother, Jean Katherine Wagner; brother, Thomas Andrew Wagner; and grandchildren, Tenley Lowy, Luke Lowy, Davis Ray Lowy, and Dylan Jean Lowy.

A Memorial Service Celebrating her Life will begin at 10:00 a.m. Friday, April 1, 2016 at Friends Congregational Church located at 2200 Southwood Dr. in College Station, Texas. Cremation and Celebration of Life services are in the care of Callaway-Jones Funeral Home and Crematory in Bryan College Station, Texas.

In lieu of flowers, Dr. Wagner’s family requests that memorials be sent to the Texas A&M Foundation, 401 George Bush Drive, College Station, Texas, 77840.  Please designate gifts “in memory of Susan Wagner” in the memo line.  Gifts received will be applied to an endowed scholarship being established in Dr. Wagner’s memory for a physical education student in the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University. – See more at: http://transform.tamu.edu/news/dr-susan-wagner-remembered-dedication-students#sthash.uMBM6E93.dpuf

For more information contact 

Callawy-Jones Funeral & Cremation Centers

3001 S College Avenue
Bryan, TX 77801
United States (US)
Phone: (979) 822-3717
Email: cjones@callawayjones.com

Condolences

  1. Dear friends – DeAun and I are so sad, but please know we are thinking about your family during this trying time. Susan is the best.

  2. To the family,

    Susan will be sorely missed. Her humor, candor, and work ethic are a continued inspiration to us all. I can only hope that good memories will sustain you in the times ahead.

    With deepest sympathy,

    Connie Fournier

  3. I am very sad to hear of Susan’s passing. She was a wonderful person and I know she will be greatly missed. My prayers to you all.

  4. Please accept my sincere sympathies to your family on the loss of the irreplaceable Susan W. I so admired her as a colleague in our HLKN Department: a consummate physical education professional who contributed to the training of so many fine physical educators now out in our Texas schools. Will very much miss crossing paths with her during our early morning swims…

  5. Susan served her community in many ways. Teacher, mentor , model, school board member, athlete, colleague, family and friend. RIP Susan. We hope peace finds those who are left behind.

  6. I am so shocked to hear this news. She was a great colleague and a leader in her field. She was always willing to help anyone. A great loss for her students and our faculty.

  7. This breaks my heart. Susan was one of my professors at Texas A&M and after I moved back to Texas 6 years ago I have been able to work as one of her peers at our National and State level organizations and as faculty advisors of our student professional organizations. She will be missed greatly. Prayers.

  8. My thoughts and prayers go out to Susan’s family. I was blessed to be able to work with her the past couple of years through TAHPERD. She will be missed by so many.

  9. I’m so sad at Susan’s passing. She was a wonderful mentor from when I was an undergraduate at TAMU and then as I moved into the profession of teaching students myself. She was a gift from God and will be missed by many. My prayers to your family.

  10. Our heartfelt prayers of healing for your family. Susan was a wonderful teacher and a terrific mother who raised three great sons that have shared friendships with our sons. We are so sorry for your loss. Dave and Janice Haverland and family

  11. We are so sorry for your loss. Jason and I have been praying for Susan and we are so sad to hear that cancer has taken her. We pray for your family during this difficultime time.

  12. We were shocked to hear of Susan’s passing. What wonderful memories we have of her at the little league fields, at the soccer matches, and when we would run into her at HEB! We didn’t know she was sick but know she fought the good fight. We are thinking of family, especially the boys, and hoping the good memories will sustain you during this difficult time. Love you all!
    Mike and Linda Bridges and family.

  13. Susan was such amazing support to me through some difficult passages in my life. Though I no longer had regular contact with her, I am deeply saddened by your loss in this world. My deepest condolences to her family, friends and colleagues on the incredible loss of her from your lives.

  14. I am so sorry that we have lost Susan at a time in her life when she should be enjoying retirement from a very busy, fulfilling career at Texas A&M. I so enjoyed being her friend, serving on her doctoral committee in TLAC, and sharing so much knowledge with her about health and well being. She will be greatly missed. My deepest sympathy to her family. Susan was a very special person.

  15. My heart sinks to hear that the community has lost Susan. She was an inspiration to all that crossed her path. She gladly stepped forward to found an Aggie organization that promoted future physical educators. She always had a caring heart and offered understanding words of encouragement. During November’s TAHPERD conference she excitedly shared her eagerness toward her upcoming retirement and her approaching opportunity to spend more time with family. She will continue to live on through the positive impact she has made on others. May warm memories comfort her loved ones during this sad time.

  16. Heartfelt condolences to the family. For the Lowy brothers I know you were each the pride and joy of your momma. May you find comfort in knowing what a special person she was and how she touched so many lives.

  17. The years of being a mom alongside Susan with her three and my two sons was very special. The boys grew up and our contact went away, but I can still hear her laugh and envision her smile.
    Young men, you will see me on Friday under such sad circumstances. Try to hold on to those sweet memories of College Hills, soccer Saturdays and lots of Little League. You’re not too old to hug and you are too young to lose your mom.
    Coach Capps, Kevin, Eric and myself are praying for comfort and strength for us all.

  18. It still seems impossible that Susan is gone. She was the consummate physical educator, a role model for all of us. It seems trite, but she was so wonderful at everything. Such a cool mom and grandmother, a stud at working out, an incredible colleague and teacher, always involved in the community…she leaves a great big hole in all of our hearts. Our condolences and especially our prayers go to Susan’s family.

  19. Thoughts & prayers are with Susan’s great family. My favorite teacher when I was @ Texas A&M. Great teacher, super mom & grandmother. Susan was such a good motivator who made her students better! Her door was always open! She will be greatly missed!

  20. So many great memories of Susan for so many years. She meant so much to me at the time in my own career when I was making life changing decisions! She was so full of wisdom in her petite stature. I always loved seeing her around town after our kiddos grew up. Such a beautiful lady inside and out!! Her family and students were blessed to have her close. Robin, Nathan and Noah Donnelly

  21. I always admired Susan’s strong faith and her dedication and attention to detail during the time I knew her at Friends Church. Words do little to ease the sorrow, but know that I am one of many people who grieve with Susan’s family, and offer prayers for peace and comfort.

  22. Susan was the very first kines instructor I ever had at A&M as a Freshmen back in 1980. I took her aerobic running class, as they called it back then. She made it fun and challenging and she instilled in us the importance of living healthy lifestyles. Her inspiration gave me a love for the sport of running which I continue to enjoy even after 36 years. I was fortunate to have had her.

    To my long time buddy Chuck Rhea, …so sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.

  23. Dr. Lowy (as we knew her) was one of the most active and vocal Board members that ever served on the Head Start Policy Council. We so appreciate her support and advocacy for the CSISD Head Start program during her tenure on the Board. She helped us establish a wonderful beginning sports program for young children and was always encouraging, sharing her students with our classrooms as well. Our prayers are with your family during this difficult time. Know that Susan left a legacy of support for Head Start in our community.

  24. Susan was an amazing woman. So many little league memories of our boys playing. Rickey then had her at A&M while getting his Kine degree. So much respect for her. So sorry for y’alls loss.

  25. I will miss her lovely smile and sweet laughter.
    Susan and I worked together through BikeTexas (Texas Bicycle Coalition), teaching bicycle safety to PE teachers in Texas. She was an absolute delight.
    Big hug to all her family.

  26. To Susie’s Family and Friends,
    Susie was my first cousin. She was born about 7 months before me. I always looked up to her and her brother, Johnny. The last time I saw Susie we were teenagers. I have often thought about her over the years, and I am not at all surprised that she led such a meaningful life. Rest in peace, cousin. My thoughts are with those you have left behind.

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