Charles G. Wagner, M.D., devoted to serving others

October 11, 2022

Charles G. Wagner, M.D., “Chuck,” 77, passed away peacefully Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, at home after a long illness surrounded by his family. He is survived by his wife, Patt; daughter, Dr. Elizabeth DiProspero and her husband Dr. Nick DiProspero, and their three sons Peter, Andrew and John; son, Geoffrey Wagner and his wife Jennifer, and their daughter Hayden; and his stepson, R. Tate Garey and his wife Jennifer, and their two children Evelyn and Grant.

Dr. Wagner was born in Charleston, W.Va., Dec. 19, 1944, to Gilbert and Antoinette Wagner. He is the second oldest of nine children, three girls and six boys, and was raised in Leonia, N.J., graduating from Leonia High School in 1963. Upon graduation, he volunteered to join the U.S. Army. While waiting for induction, he attended Fairleigh Dickinson University for one year.  He was inducted into basic training at Fort Dix, N.J., Aug. 1964, then trained as a helicopter pilot, CWO I at Fort Walters, Texas, and Fort Rucker Ala., officer candidate school.  He served in Korea 2nd Aviation Battalion, DMZ patrol pilot, and orphanage officer in 1965 and in Vietnam from 1966-67, 11th Air Calvary, gunship pilot, and aviation armament officer. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal with V, Bronze Star and 16 Air Medals, and was honorably discharged in 1968.  Upon his return, he completed his studies at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and Columbia University’s College of Physicians & Surgeons in 1974 with a three-year residency at St. Luke’s Hospital, New York, N.Y. After an initial year of practice at Carle Clinic in Champaign Urbana, Ill., he returned to the East Coast to settle in Milton, and work as an emergency room physician at Milford Memorial Hospital.

Following his young family’s 1978 move to Prime Hook Beach, he became a regular fixture at Roxie's Cafe in Milton, now the Milton Theatre, and found there were few primary care doctors in the Sussex County area and none in Milton. He purchased 424 Mulberry Street next to H.O.B. Elementary school and established Milton Family Practice in 1980. MFP grew into one of the largest primary care practices in Delaware serving upward of 12,000 patients. As his practice grew, he soon found it necessary to double the size of the medical facility, and future expansions would see the first MRI in southern Delaware. Later the MFP practice was moved to Route 1 in Lewes, at Red Mill Pond Center and rebranded as Pointe Primary Care after he retired in 2016.  Dr. Wagner never lost his need for adrenaline or his love of flying and became a qualified hot air balloon pilot. He designed and ordered a special balloon to represent Delaware and named it Della Bear. Starting the First State Hot Air Balloon team, he traveled nationwide to festivals promoting the little state with a big heart, Delaware. With his wife Patt, they organized 13 festivals in Milton with an attendance of 10-15,000 people annually. The festivals helped showcase the town of Milton and were popular for Miltonians and visitors alike. Funds raised at these festivals benefited the Diabetes Sugar-Free Kids Program and Milton Theatre projects. Dr. Wagner was a member of Milton Lions Club and obtained a miniature train from DelDOT and organized work crews to have the Milton Clipper Express installed in Milton Town Park. He was also instrumental in establishing the annual Broadkill River Canoe and Kayak Races. Personal health issues eventually curtailed his continued participation in the myriad of projects he started and led. Unable to sit back and relax in his retirement, he and Patt would go on to enjoy working on their farm, whether water buffalo, horses, chickens, mowing, gardening, or home repair, there was always a project to undertake. Dr. Wagner served on the board of Milford Memorial Hospital, Visiting Nurses Association, Milton Chamber of Commerce, and Medical Center of Delaware, and was awarded the William D. Littleford Award for corporate public service. He also holds several patents for energy conservation, monitoring technology and hardware. He was ahead of his time in every field. Dr. Wagner continued to pursue his interests with engagement, encouragement and education.  He savored every success whether it was his own, or one of his family, friends, or mentees, and was often heard speaking highly of his grandchildren or his wife. He will be greatly missed.  There are a thousand reminders of him everywhere you look from Milford to Lewes and in between. His lasting legacy will continue to inspire his friends, family, and countless people who were helped in and out of his medical office.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m., Friday, Oct. 14, at Avenue United Methodist Church, 20 Church St., Milford, with a viewing to begin at 11 a.m. Interment will be held at Barrett’s Chapel Frederica. 

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Bayhealth Medical Center, Sussex Campus, 100 Wellness Way, Milford, DE 19963; or a charity of choice. 

Online condolences may be submitted to

Arrangements in the care of Berry-Short Funeral Home, Milford.

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter