Thurston W. Wagner, 81, proprietor of Corner Restaurant in Carroll County

September 11, 1997|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

For nearly half a century, Thurston W. Wagner dispensed homemade cooking, gasoline and more than a little advice to customers who paused at his combination roadside restaurant, bar, convenience store and filling station in Carroll County.

Mr. Wagner, who was 81 and the proprietor of Wagner's Corner Restaurant, died in his sleep Sunday at his Taylorsville home.

Located in a one-story brick building at Routes 26 and 27 in Taylorsville, the restaurant was a gathering place for local residents.

They came in to buy a newspaper or linger over a cup of coffee and enjoy a generous slice of one of Mr. Wagner's famous homemade fruit pies.

Many returned at night for beer or a meal, and to enjoy the restaurant's fresh Carroll County vegetables and steak, seafood or turkey dinners.

The restaurant was open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and only closed for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The gas station was open 365 days a year.

"He wanted to make sure if his customers needed gas on a holiday to go somewhere, they could get it," said a son, Ronald T. Wagner of Westminster.

Mr. Wagner, who lived in a house nearby, was an early riser. After shaving and dressing, he walked to the restaurant where he began his day baking bread and pies.

"This was his life. Even though he put in long hours, he really enjoyed it," his son said. "He never took any time off."

"He liked people and enjoyed what he was doing. All of his friends were here," said another son, Wayne E. Wagner of Mount Airy.

Mr. Wagner was born and raised in Woodbine, the son of farmers. He attended Carroll public schools.

After working on the family farm and later in a Winfield hardware store, Mr. Wagner went into the restaurant and filling station business in the early 1950s.

For many years, he shared the operation of the restaurant with his wife, the former Katherine Virginia Fowble, whom he married in 1940. She died in 1983.

Another son, Michael G. Wagner, died in 1995.

Surviving, in addition to the two sons, are a daughter, Linda L. Freyman of Taneytown; a sister, Hazel Welch of Oakland; three grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

Services were held yesterday.

Pub Date: 9/11/97

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