Craig Wagenknecht

Obituary of Craig Robert Wagenknecht

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Craig Robert Wagenknecht was born in Toledo, Ohio on March 15, 1960. He was one of five children born from the union of Robert George and Shirley Marie (Brassell) Wagenknecht. He earned his diploma and graduated with the class of 1978 from Summerfield High School. 

On September 10, 1988, Craig tied the knot with the love of his life, Karen Trabbic, in a heartfelt ceremony at his mother’s home. Skilled with his hands and a natural hard worker, Craig provided for his family as a mechanic.  His working career began with J&R Farm Tractor company, then shifted to BFI Waste Management, Stevens Dispoal and Recycling, and finally with Davis Brown until he needed to take a medical retirement in 2014.

Craig was a man of simple pleasures and he found immense joy in tending to his vegetable garden.  He cultivated a variety of crops and shared the abundant yield with his Hillsdale neighbors. His love for nature extended to watching and feeding the birds in his yard, finding solace and relaxation in their company.

For the past nine years, his loyal companion, Ziggy, a Blue Healer, brought him unconditional companionship and joy. Craig found tranquility in spending time on his pontoon at the lake, occasionally dropping a line to catch whatever was biting that day and just taking in the serene moments. He also cherished the thrill of hunting with friends and his brother in Hillsdale, creating a lifetime of memories.

Craig’s easy-going nature shone through as he enjoyed the company of friends, fondly known as the driveway drinkers, bonding over his favorite beer, a Labatt Blue. He and his wife Karen made it a tradition on Monday to visit the Petersburg VFW, indulging in the warmth of home-cooked meals, with meatloaf dinners being one of his favorite feasts.

Craig Robert Wagenknecht, age 63 of Monroe, unexpectedly passed away at 4:45pm on Saturday; January 20, 2024, at his home.  His passing was preceded by his parents and a step-father: Reverend Edward Dinkle.

To cherish his memory, he leaves his wife of thirty-five years: Karen; three children: Shelia Cuschieri (Mark Pietrykowski), Michael Jernigan, Daniel Jernigan; five grandchildren; and four siblings: Gail Seegert, Nancy (Mike) Bourquin, Connie (Carmela) Wagenknecht, and Glenn (Karen) Wagenknecht.

His care has been entrusted to Merkle Funeral Service, Dundee; 297 Tecumseh Street, Dundee, Michigan 48131 (734) 529-3156. A Celebration of His Life is being planned for April. Cremation has taken place through the on-site crematory, Covenant Cremation of Erie, Michigan. Online guests may leave words of inspiration and comfort by visiting