Robert Brokaw Wagoner, Bishop, CA resident passes away at Bishop Care Center
Beloved Bishop, CA resident Robert Brokaw Wagoner passed away. His legacy includes Western art, music, and a love for the West.
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Robert Brokaw Wagoner, a beloved member of the Bishop, CA community. He peacefully passed away on January 27, 2024 at the Bishop Care Center. Bob, as he was affectionately known, was born on July 13, 1928 in Marion, OH to William and Elsie (Butch) Wagoner. He was preceded in death by his older brother, William Wagoner, Jr., in 1993.
Bob's life began in Long Beach, CA, where he met the love of his life, Nora Jean Nebergall. The two were married on April 2, 1950 at the First Congregational Church in Long Beach. Bob worked for his father at Contractors Equipment Rental Company until 1971, when he made the decision to move his family to Bishop, CA. This move allowed Bob to fully pursue his passion as a western artist, showcasing his work at various art shows, including the annual Death Valley 49er Encampment. His artwork can also be found at Leanin' Tree in Boulder, CO.
In addition to his artistic talents, Bob was a highly regarded musician. His musical journey began at the age of 17 when he performed at the Golden Gulch Music Hall in Long Beach. He went on to tour with "Tommy Duncan and the Western All-Stars" from 1949-1950 and later became a member of "The Reinsmen", "The American Cowboys", and "The High Country Gentlemen". He continued to perform with the group "For the Love of Swing" from 1994-2013 in Bishop, CA. Bob also produced multiple recordings, showcasing his love for traditional Western music. His dedication to preserving this musical tradition earned him several awards, including the "Outstanding Traditional Western Music Album" from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1997, and induction into the International Western Music Association Hall of Fame in 2018.
Outside of his artistic and musical pursuits, Bob led a life filled with diverse experiences. He served in the United States Marines in the 1940s, tried his hand at prospecting in the 1950s, and earned his pilot license in the 1980s. He had a deep love for horses and a special affection for the Western way of life.
Tragically, Nora Jean passed away on their 50th wedding anniversary in 2000. Their ashes will be laid to rest at the Bishop Cemetery. Bob is survived by his three sons, Jeffrey Lynn (Susan), Dennis James (Ann), and Lance Craig (Terri), as well as seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
The family would like to extend their deepest gratitude to the dedicated staff at the Bishop Care Center for the exceptional care provided to Bob during his time there. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the charity of your choice in honor of Bob's memory.