Feb. 14, 1925 - Sept. 2, 2012
Kenneth E. Wagner, co-founder and president of Carton Craft Corp. and a leader of greater Buffalo's Jewish community, died Sunday in his Amherst home after a long illness. He was 87.
Born in Buffalo, Mr. Wagner was a graduate of East High School and studied at the University of Buffalo and the University of Miami.
After college, he joined his father, Victor, in founding Carton Craft, originally Victor Wagner & Son Inc., printer and manufacturer of folding cartons.
After Mr. Wagner engineered an innovative method of manufacturing board books used by preschoolers, Carton Craft became the major domestic supplier of children's books to publishers throughout the United States.
At its peak, Carton, which went out of business in 2002, had more than 120 employees.
Mr. Wagner was active in the Jewish community, serving as advanced gifts chairman for the United Jewish Appeal and on the board of governors of the Jewish Federation of Buffalo. He also served on the council of trustees of the Jewish Center of Greater Buffalo.
He was a board member of the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies.
He was a member of Temple Beth Tzedek and, over the years, several other congregations, including Temple Beth David, Temple Beth Am and Temple Beth Zion.
Mr. Wagner was a member of the Montefiore Club and Westwood Country Club - serving as president of the latter in 1975. Mr. Wagner also was a tennis, golf and bridge enthusiast.
Survivors include his wife of 17 years, the former Marilyn Wecksler; a son, Douglas; two daughters, Victoria McRae and Karen; and three stepdaughters, Shari Franco, Ellen Bello and Julie Fineburg.
Services will be at 11 a.m. today in Mesnekoff Funeral Home, 8630 Transit Road, East Amherst.