Sierra Wave Media

Eastern Sierra News for June 19, 2024





Robert Wagoner

Robert Brokaw Wagoner, a long-time resident of Bishop, CA, passed away peacefully on January 27, 2024 at the Bishop Care Center. Bob was born on July 13, 1928 in Marion, OH, to William and Elsie (Butch)Wagoner. His older brother, William Wagoner, Jr., preceded him in death in 1993.

Bob spent his formative years in Long Beach, CA where he met the love of his life, Nora Jean Nebergall. They 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, at whichtime he moved his family to Bishop, CA. This move allowed Bob to work full-time as a western artist. Along the way, he displayed his artwork at many art shows, especially at the annual Death Valley 49er Encampment. Reproductions of Bob’s artwork can be found at Leanin’ Tree in Boulder, CO.

Bob was also a very well-known musician. His first gig in music was when he was 17 years old at the Golden Gulch Music Hall in Long Beach. He toured with Tommy Duncan and the Western All-Stars in 1949-1950. In 1968 he became a member of “The Reinsmen, working on and off with them until the 2000s. He was also part of two other groups in the 1980s, called “The American Cowboys and “The HighCountry Gentlemen. His most recent live performances were with a group called “For the Love of Swing”, performing from 1994-2013 in Bishop, CA.

Bob started producing multiple recordings in 1980, producing 9 cassettes and CDs, doing all of the vocals and playing most of the instruments himself. He had a passion for the old tunes, especially those of the Sons of the Pioneers, and this was his personal attempt to preserve the legacy of this great musical tradition. Along the way, he received several awards for his music. In 1997, Bob won “Outstanding Traditional Western Music Album” from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. In 2018, Bob was inducted into the International Western Music Association Hall of Fame. Bob 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 great love for horses and a special love forthe West.

Nora Jean passed away on April 2, 2000, on their 50th wedding anniversary.  Their ashes will be interned at the Bishop Cemetery. They are survived by three sons, Jeffrey Lynn (Susan), Dennis James (Ann), and Lance Craig (Terri), seven grandchildren, Patrick Dunn, Amanda Lynn, Shawn Robert, Maile Elise, Arden John, Justin Gregory, and Brian Jason, and three great-grandchildren, Siddartha Calvin, JacksonRobert, and Kayla Julie.

Our family would like to express our sincerest gratitude to the wonderful staff at the Bishop Care Center. They took extremely good care of our father during these past four years. For those interested, donations can be made to the charity of your choice.

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