The Visitation for PFC James Maxwell Bedgood-Wagner, 27, of Lake Zurich, IL, will be held on Tuesday afternoon, July 25, 2023, from 15:00 hours to 20:00 hours at the Ahlgrim Family Funeral Home, 415 S. Buesching Road, Lake Zurich, IL. Prayers will begin at 10:00 hours on Wednesday, July 26, 2023, at the funeral home, proceeding to St. Francis de Sales Church, 33 S. Buesching Road, Lake Zurich, for the Funeral Mass at 10:30 hours. James will be laid to rest at Bronswood Cemetery in Oak Brook, IL. All are welcomed.
A celebration of James life will be held at the American Legion, Lake Zurich Post #964 on Saturday, July 29, 2023, at 14:00 hours.
James loved life and wanted to experience everything in it. He loved hiking and shooting, riding, and exploring. As a kid he began with caddying at Kemper Lakes, and he tried his hand at a lot of jobs, mostly just for the experience of them. He stocked produce at the grocery store, he helped build houses, he did work as an electrician, he worked for an excavating company.
When it was determined that he needed a new engine in his truck, he decided he would just get another one and change it himself. Then he packed up that “S**t Box Dodge” as he called it, with its freshly swapped engine, and drove it west (it almost made it) to support Smoke Jumpers. There, he battled forest fires and in the style of Forrest Gump, found himself on the steps of a trailer shaking hands with the governor of New Mexico on TV.
He taught himself how to play the guitar, and played and sang in bars in Montana. He moved to Tennessee where he decided he’d tend bar in Nashville. Then one day he called home and said that he had joined the Army. That’s how he wound up in Alaska as a member of the 11th Arctic Airborne, jumping from planes into the snow.
He loved his family, his friends, and Huckleberry his dog, but more than anything, he loved his brothers. He is survived by his brothers, Jack and Oliver Wagner; his father, Christopher Wagner; his mom, Jennifer Soverino; his grandmother, Alice “Tina” Wagner; his grandfather, Terry Bedgood; his grandmother, Margaret Knight; grandmother, Marilyn Soverino; his grandparents, Frank and Jan Soverino; his aunts, Elizabeth (Wagner) DeStefano, Erin (Bedgood) Smith, Christina (Soverino) Yanacek, Lisa Soverino; and his uncles, Basil DeStefano, Doug Smith, Robert Bedgood, Frank and Nick Soverino; along with a very long list of cousins and extended family.
He is preceded in death by his grandfather, Arthur Wagner; his uncle, Paul Wagner; and his brother, Benjamin Bedgood.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Patriot Riders.