Former KRTA Executive Director Bob Wagoner Dies at 66

By Matt Markgraf

Former head of the Kentucky Retired Teachers Association Bob Wagoner died Tuesday at the age of 66.

According to the Shelby County Retired Teachers Association on Facebook, he had been battling the flu and pneumonia.

Wagoner served as the Executive Director of KRTA for 15 years. He had previously worked for 28 years in the Bullitt, Woodford and Henry County school districts. Over his career, he served in various roles including teaching, counseling and administrative leadership. He retired from the position of Superintendent of Henry County Public Schools.

He has also worked in the Office of Educational Accountability at the Kentucky General Assembly's Legsilative Research Commission and served as the Office of Education Accountability Director for the Division of Finance.

His funeral service is at 2 p.m. on Monday, January 15 in the Henry County High School Auditorium. Visitation begins at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be given to the Kimbler-Bourgard Foundation, an organization that helps retired teachers struggling with finances. 

Last month, Wagoner and KRTA's new Executive Director Tim Abrams spoke with retired teachers in Murray about urging lawmakers to make changes to the proposed pension plan.

CCRTA President Marshall Ward said Wagoner has been the anchor of efforts to bring attention issues for retired teachers for nearly two decades, most recently the pension crisis.

"He was a strong, quiet presence, well respected by legislators, the business community, and educators all over Kentucky," said Ward in an email. "What was so impressive about Bob was his ability to bring people of diverse political points of view, different backgrounds together to solve critical issues. The more than 30,000 Retired Teachers will surely miss Bob’s compassion, wisdom, and wit," he said. 

Abrams formally succeeded Wagoner as head of KRTA at the beginning of this year. Abrams also previously served as superintendent of Henry County Public Schools. 

Wagoner said this time last year upon the announcement of the leadership change, "I think it is a good time for KRTA to move forward with new leadership.  I'm proud of what we have accomplished over the past 15 years, and look forward to taking on new challenges."