March 20, 2020
Colleagues of the Lucas County man who became the first Ohio COVID-19 death are speaking out on his character and personality.
The man, 76-year-old Mark Wagoner Sr., worked for decades in family law in Lucas and Fulton County courts - a field that retired Fulton County Judge Richard B. McQuade calls incredibly difficult from an attorney's perspective because of how emotionally charged divorces can be. But McQuade said Wagoner Sr. could take the emotion out of the job. He summed up the loss of Wagoner in a few short words: "Mickey had extremely high ethics. A real loss for me personally. Always very composed, very kind."
Mick Wagoner Sr. was a competitor at heart. His friend and colleague, Jude Aubry, says Wagoner played running back at Ohio Northern University and would graduate from that school in 1968. In his spare time, he would find himself heavily involved in youth sports outside of his day job. Another attorney, Mark Davis, coached alongside Wagoner at Ottawa Hills Junior High School. Davis said of the head football coach: "He was gruff, very hard-nosed, but he wanted to make sure kids were having fun."
Wagoner raised three boys and one girl on his own, so he developed a fatherly mentorship toward fellow attorneys, especially those new to the field. A friend of his and another fellow attorney, Jack Straub, tells this story: "An attorney was struggling in a court case cross-examining a witness. Mickey, the opposing lawyer, asked the judge for a recess so that he could give valuable insight to the opposing attorney."
The legal community in northwest Ohio is in mourning. Mark Wagoner Sr. had that big of an impact on those around him.
Chapter one: Chapter 1
I called my grandpa last night for the first time in a while to lecture him about going to the Dollar General down the street. He said he hadn’t gone in a while because my mom dropped him off some groceries. which was a big relief because that man is one stubborn son-of-a gun.
I know he told her no, but thankfully she did it anyway. He said he was being good and washing his hands, just hanging out with the cat, who he talks to - “social distancing” or not. He said if he starts to feel too cooped up, he will go for a quick drive and come back home, which is probably something I should try in the near future.
It’s weird making that switch, worrying about and lecturing the adults in my life about being safe. It’s hard not to think about all the time. When you’re isolated at home and start your day through a computer, only to focus on the virus for a good eight hours or more, it starts to drag you down. I noticed I hit a wall on Wednesday. I went to bed almost directly after my shift ended.
But, I feel fortunate that I have that problem. A lot of my friends are struggling. My boyfriend and his family just opened a restaurant, and it was busy. Now, those in ownership are working for free, hoping to get people ordering meals to go or delivered to stay afloat until this all comes to an end.
I’m someone who uses knowledge as a comfort. Like, when I was a kid I was terrified of storms. I was convinced that any rumble of thunder meant a tornado was on its way. So, I would be glued to the TV. I wanted to know what was happening now, what was coming next and what conditions made it happen. It helped me take a bit more control over my fear. So, with the pandemic, it’s been hard for me to turn off after my workday is over.
But, I think this gives me a good footing for what I do. I know there are so many people like me who need information: the context. I’m glad that I can help people like me find the answers they need; without hyperbole, but also with truth.
The struggle I think with this is that there aren’t always answers. We don’t have much to look back on for reference. While, sure, the virus is scary, I think the underlying concern for all of us is “what is going to happen next?”
But, what I do know, is that people are helping each other. Everyone is shouting out their favorite restaurants still open or tipping a musician through Venmo after a virtual performance (sounds too futuristic, doesn’t it?). There is a true sense that we are in this together and we will get through it together.
Now, I’m going to finally get out of this apartment. It’s 60 degrees outside and I’m going to get some much-needed fresh air and a giant cup of coffee.
- Jenson Strock
- Ohio infections jump 50 to 169, but Michigan's take a dramatic spike of 225 people for a total of 549.
- Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says he is disappointed in businesses not abiding by state orders. "They are recklessly risking lives. This simply must stop. Do what's right," he says.
- DeWine orders senior citizen centers and senior day cares to close at the end of business on Monday.
- Prince Albert of Monaco and New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton announce positive tests for coronavirus.
Chapter two: Chapter 2
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