Violet passed away peacefully on Oct. 5, 2019, at the incredible age of 97 surrounded by family.
Violet was born on a farm in Indiana to William and Jessie Mae Halstead Whipple. She and her younger brother, Robert, attended the local country school where Violet was one of the first graduates to attend college. She went on to receive bachelor degrees from both Indiana University and the University of Michigan, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. Education and lifelong learning was extremely important to Violet and she continued to study while raising kids later in life when she went on to get her masters in library media at the University of Colorado and was one credit short of a PhD.
Violet met her husband Hobart (Hoby) Wagener in the library at the University of Michigan where he was finishing his architectural degree before beginning duty in the U.S. Navy. After three weeks together, they got married on Dec. 16, 1944 in Michigan. While Hoby was overseas in World War II, Violet was a librarian at the New York Public Library, at one point helping the Manhattan Project. After the war, she and Hoby moved to Boulder, Colorado to raise their three children: Diane, Jeff, and Shaw. When caring for her family allowed, she worked in library science positions at Boulder Valley Schools, the University of Colorado, and the Boulder Public Library.
Violet and Hoby had a shared passion for travel and instilled curiosity for the world and open-mindedness in their family through trips everywhere from Peru to Singapore. In retirement, they moved to Coronado in 1984 and were active community members with Violet cherishing her time volunteering as a docent at the Mingei International Museum of Folk art and in the Coronado Public Library.
Hoby’s love and companionship were sorely missed when he preceded her in death on Sept. 30, 2005. Violet was filled with deep love and pride in the family that she was privileged to be with for so many years including her children, six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren who she found endless joy in.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Violet’s honor to the Mingei International Museum of Folk Art in San Diego.