Born in Ohio, he was raised in the Philadelphia area and graduated from Mercersburg Academy. He came to Princeton with the Navy V-12 program and, following three years of service, returned to Princeton to complete his studies. He was a member and resident of Cottage Club. An athlete of outstanding ability and character, he played varsity football for three seasons, receiving the Poe Cup in 1948. Elected to membership in the Sigma Xi Society, he graduated with a degree in psychology in 1949.
Val began his professional career with Sun Oil in New York before entering the pharmaceutical industry with Smith Kline & French in Philadelphia. He subsequently joined American Hoechst, retiring as the director of research administration.
He and his wife of 62 years, Mary Ann Harman, raised their family in Yardley, Pa. They spent summers in Mantoloking, N.J., where they relocated permanently following retirement, and were members of the Bay Head Yacht Club.
Val frequently joined his classmates at Reunions and “mid-winter musters.” He served on the ’47 executive committee for several years and remained a loyal supporter of Princeton football his entire life. Both on and off the field, Val was admired for his calm demeanor, determination, kindness, and honesty — he was truly a gentleman, through and through.
He is survived by Mary Ann; his son, Val H. Wagner; daughter Bonne W. Rawley ’84; and five grandsons.