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Dr. Jack Wagoner Jr.

Dr. Jack Wagoner Jr.

Dr. Jack Wagoner Jr. died with friends and family present on Wednesday morning, October 4, 2017. Dr. Wagoner was a well-known Little Rock internal medicine specialist who regularly appeared on the “Best Doctors” lists. He served as Chief of Staff at St. Vincent’s Hospital in 1981, 1982, 1984, and 1985. He also was head of the ICU department for many years.

Dr. Wagoner was born on September 29, 1938 in Earle, Arkansas. He graduated from Will Rogers High School in Tulsa at age 16. He graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1959 and from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in 1963. He performed his Internship at UAMS. Then he served as a Captain in the Air Force for two years. He returned and completed his Internal Medicine Residency followed by a fellowship in Pulmonary and Infectious Diseases.

The children and family of Dr. Wagoner are most proud of the fact that their father established the first integrated medical practice in the State of Arkansas in 1969. He practiced with Dr. Raymond Miller, Dr. Robert Moore, and Dr. Hoyt Pyle at the Little Rock Internal Medicine Clinic. Dr. Wagoner and Dr. Miller practiced together until retirement, along with Dr. Pyle. This was a bold move for a white doctor with four children to support—straight out of medical school—in 1969. As always, our father did the right thing—despite his father advising against it and telling him that he was “throwing his education away.” There is a series of letters between Dr. Miller and Dr. Wagoner in the archives at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville where Dr. Miller (who was on the UA Board of the University in subsequent years) and our father are discussing the implications of beginning a practice together given the state of race relations in the country at the time.

Dr. Wagoner was one of those rare individuals that was programmed to automatically do the right thing in any situation. He set the moral compass for four children and was proud of the fact that each child went into helping professions and all have earned at least a Master’s Degree. He was reasonable beyond belief and has rarely been heard by anyone to raise his voice. He always calmed any situation. And he was very curious about everything. He was a prolific reader and knew so much about so many subjects. Trivial Pursuit with Dad was a lost cause, as he knew so many minute points about so many subjects.
As might be expected, those close to Dr. Wagoner are sad and grieving. The family is proud and warmed by the outpourings of sympathy and condolences from those that have poured in from friends and colleagues. Writing this obituary has been made much easier by the fact that it is easy to write an obituary for a saint.

Dr. Wagoner is survived by his wife of 58 years, Lorraine. He is also survived by four children (in descending order): Jack Wagoner III of Little Rock, age 56; Terri Lynn Phillips, age 54; Tracy Lea McCandless of Denver, age 50, and Dr. Amy Elizabeth McLaurin of Statesville, N. Carolina, age 48. He is also survived by one sister, Gay Adams, of Little Rock, and ten grandchildren. Since Amy and Tracy and their families live in North Carolina and Colorado respectively, Dr. Wagoner and “Lorrie” spent a large part of their time driving to one place or another in the last several years. They had a lot of fun together in their later years.

A memorial service will be held at Trinity United Methodist Church on Saturday, October 7 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to the American Heart Association or Trinity United Methodist Church. After the service, there will be a reception at the church.

Condolence Book

"My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family."
Bruce Tennant | Little Rock, , AR |

"Jack was a really good person, doctor and friend. We will miss him a lot. Our prayers go to Lorrie and Family."
Dr. and Mrs. William F. Hayden | Little Rock, AR |

"Our thoughts are with you during this loss and especially to our friend Terri from the PHMS Family."
Steven Wise | Bryant, AR |

"Wagoner-Phillips Family,

Find comfort in each other and your faith. I send your peace and love. I am so very sorry for your loss. "

Becki Houston-PHMS | North Little Rock, AR |

"May our Lord bless and comfort you and your family during this time of grief. Please accept our sincere condolences."
Mr and Mrs Fred Kittler | Little Rock, AR |

"Terri, David and Family,

My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. May God provide you comfort to know your loved one rests with Him.

Love and Prayers,
Jacquie Hogg Grandy"

Jacqueline Hogg Grandy | Little Rock, AR |

"To Terri - So very sorry for your loss. I didn't know your father, but since children are often a reflection of those that raised them, I'm sure he was an amazing guy. Sending love and light your way."
Sarah Stone - PHMS | Little Rock, AR |

"I didn't know Dr Wagoner very well, but he was always very polite and nice to me when coming into cardiac rehab in the mornings with Mrs. Wagoner. I will miss seeing his warm smile around here."
Amber Darrall | Little Rock, AR |

"My prayers and thoughts are with your family in this time of grieving. What an influential and important person in Arkansas to have as a Father & Husband, how blessed you must feel. Prayers for your family's comfort in your loss, knowing he is with the Lord.


Christina Coffman | Little Rock, AR |

"Prayers to you and your family"
Angela Mosby | Bryant, AR |

"The staff and participants of St. Vincent's Cardiac Rehab exercise program wish to send their most sincere condolences. Dr. Wagoner was a faithful member of our program for many years, putting many "miles" on the elliptical machine. We will miss him so very much. Our prayers are with Lori and the family.
Brenda, Brian, Claudia, and all the participants"

St. Vincent's Cardiac Rehab program | Little Rock, AR |

"I am so very sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you during such a difficult time. May God Bless and comfort you and your family in this time of grief.

My sincere condolences,
Jan McMahan"

Jan McMahan | Bryant, AR |

"Jack and your entire family:

I hope the memory of the joy of your dad's life returns to your conversations about your dad. Condolences to you all.

Don Campbell"


"Our condolences to Lorrie and all the family.
"Doc" seemed like a wonderful person. We came to know he and Lorrie at Cardio-Pulmonary Rehab. He will certainly be

Jerry & Judy Fullington | Benton, AR |

"Rest In Peace, good and faithful servant. Great memories of our days together BLVDat UAMS 1959–63. "
Neal Robinson, M.D. | Chattanooga, TN |

"It is a true blessing that Jack's and our paths cross in this life.
Jack was and will always be an inspiration for each of us to always do "that which is right."

Joe and Nancy Hughes"

Dr. Joe and Nancy Hughes | Jonesboro, AR |

"Mrs. Phillips and family,

My family and I are so sorry for your loss. My parents told me they worked at the hospital in the 80's when your dad was there making his rounds. They said he was a great doctor and a really nice man. Now, I get to work with you at the school. :-)

Praying for you and your family. I'm always here if you need me.

-Kristen Giggleman "

Kristen Giggleman | Benton, AR |

"I think of you all as you deal with the loss of your beloved husband, father. He was a profound influence for each of you. Celebrate the memories and know that his memory is with you always.conker"
Sue Anschutz | Greeley, CO |

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