Lynn Dorothy M. Wagner, 45, Towson mortgage banker

October 08, 2006|By Stephanie Desmon | Stephanie Desmon,sun reporter

Lynn Dorothy McKenzie Wagner, a mortgage banker and mother of two young girls, died Thursday at her Towson area home after a seven-month battle with colon cancer. She was 45.

Born Lynn Dorothy McKenzie in Fair Lawn, N.J., she graduated from Fair Lawn High School in 1979 and went on to earn a degree in business from what is now Towson University in 1983. Upon graduation, she went to New York to work for Lehman Brothers.

In 1984, she moved to Washington, where she worked for several mortgage banking companies. Later she moved back to New York and then to Baltimore in 1991.

Not long before she returned to Maryland, she had been in town visiting a college roommate, Mary Beth Marsden, now a news anchor with WMAR-TV. Ms. Marsden said she dragged her friend to a Christmas party at the Governors Club in Baltimore, where she met her future husband, Tom Wagner, another Towson alumnus who was a lacrosse All-American at the school. He lived in San Francisco and she lived in New York, but soon they decided to move to Baltimore to be together.

The pair married in 1992. They had two daughters, Maggie, now 12, and Lindsey, now 9.

"Her family was so important to her," said Glenn McKenzie of Hampton, N.H., one of Mrs. Wagner's three elder brothers. "They just did a lot of things together - fishing, skiing. She was just a very active person, always up and doing something."

Said Ms. Marsden: "She loved life. She adored her family. They centered her. She never wanted any more than to be with her family and friends. She really knew what was important."

A mortgage broker at The Loan Center in Towson, Mrs. Wagner was involved in her daughters' school, their athletic activities and her neighborhood Bible study group. One of her favorite traditions was her annual beach vacation in Cape May, N.J., with family and friends. Friends remembered her big smile and her thick head of red hair.

She liked nothing better than getting together for a barbecue or to cheer on her favorite football team, the New York Giants, friends said.

Mr. McKenzie said his sister was "never sick a day in her life really" until March, when she began suffering from cramps and pain that would be diagnosed as colon cancer. Ms. Marsden said her friend "faced this illness with unbelievable courage."

"She was here and she was great, and she made a difference in a lot of people's lives," she said. "I think she honestly believed she had a good life."

Services will be at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Grace Fellowship Church, 9505 Deereco Road in Timonium.

In addition to her husband, daughters and brother, she is survived by her mother, Dorothy McKenzie of New Bern, N.C.; and two other brothers, Ken McKenzie of Sussex, N.J., and Douglas McKenzie Jr. of Parkville.

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