REST IN PEACE
JULY 1, 2017
Dr. John Wagenhofer, 72, of Westwood and Wood-Ridge, NJ died July 1st after 5 years suffering with Alzheimer's. He most recently was Chaplain of the Hospice Program out of Hackensack University Hospital which his wife Ragnhild (Ronnie) Sunstrom, RN, co-founded almost 40 years ago. John was formerly a Franciscan friar priest of Holy Name Province for 25 years with his first assignment in Garfield (1970-1979).
After receiving master's degrees in theology and counseling, John served in subcommittee leadership refining ethical guidelines in counseling with the American Counseling Association. He completed a doctorate in ministry at Andover Newton Theology School in Boston in 1982. He was then appointed the Director of Pastoral Studies at the Washington (DC) Theological Union, a school preparing women and men for ordination and lay pastoral ministry. During this decade John was also a member of the Franciscan Formation Team preparing new Franciscans with competencies and skills in their life and ministry. John was one of the first US Roman Catholic priests to create seminary ministry development programs having a doctoral degree in pastoral supervision and education formation for ministry pioneered at the Boston Theological Institute's 10 schools of theology and ministry.
Besides his wife Ronnie, John is survived by his step-daughter Pia Sunstrom Poulsen and grandchildren Magnus and Olivia. He is predeceased by his parents John and Francis, his sister Joan and nephew Andrew. John is also survived by his brother Joseph (Cynthia) and son Matthew and sister Claire (Jack) Gazlay with their daughters Ellen Gazlay and Carla (Ed) Rothgery.
A memorial mass will be celebrated on John's birthday October 28th, 12:00 noon, at his birth parish, Our Lady of the Assumption, 143 First Street, Wood-Ridge, NJ.
In lieu of flowers, Ronnie requests that donations be made to Valley Hospital Hospice, 15 Essex Road, Suite 301, Paramus, NJ 07652