Alvo Loney Wagoner, 86, died March 19, 2019, at home in Tehachapi, Calif. Services will be held April 4, 2019, at 11 a.m., at the Church of The Nazarene, 19016 Highline Road, Tehachapi, CA, 93561. Pastor Robert Brooks will be officiating. Interment will be held at Tehachapi Public Cemetery Westside after the service.

Born Aug. 23, 1932, in Roswell, N.M., to Loney and Sarah Christine (Mays) Wagoner, the third oldest of 10 children. Alvo applied himself academically in school and was an outstanding student receiving the distinction as “Most Intelligent.” He was elected class president. Alvo also displayed his athletic prowess on the basketball court; it’s said he was the best player on the team!

Baptized at an early age at Washington Chapel in Roswell, his parents laid the foundation for his love of the Lord. That love and reverence never wavered. As a long-standing member of The Church of the Nazarene, dad was the head usher for several years. He was also a member of the local VFW. He married Dorothy Parker in 1969.

He worked with his dad doing odd jobs during his adolescent years. That work allowed him to help buy the family’s first car. The foundation was laid that hard work and dedication to a job forged his strong work ethic.

That work ethic carried over into his military service and professional career. After serving in the Army during the Korean War, he was honorably discharged. Upon discharge, he quickly enrolled in college earning a bachelor’s degree at New Mexico Highlands University and a college in San Antonio, Texas.

After moving to California in the early 1960s, Alvo landed a job with the California Correctional Institution at Tehachapi, where he remained employed for 33 years. He and Dorothy settled down and made Tehachapi, Calif., home for nearly six decades. While working at the institution, Alvo continued his education earning a master’s degree from Cal State University, Bakersfield.

With his playing days behind him, he became a fan of following most sports like football, baseball and, of course, basketball. Whenever there were family gatherings or just a casual conversation, sports were always a topic covered. He enjoyed traveling, fishing and bowling. A humble man, dad never talked about himself or his accomplishments. He had a zeal for life and would simply say, “I'm doing what I'm supposed do, be a provider." His intellect and quick wit could match anybody!

After spending 30 plus years in Tehachapi working at the Department of Corrections, Alvo became very well known in the community as Mr. Wagoner or Coach by friends, associates and former inmates. In 2017, 20-plus years after retiring from the California Correctional Institute, Tehachapi, a rededication ceremony was held renaming the gymnasium at the institution after him, a distinction recognizing how much he was respected two decades after his retirement.

Alvo leaves to cherish his memory, his daughters Marsha Strickland and Betty Quarles, son Marcus (Anita) Howard; grandchildren, Ebony Day, Marcus (Crystal) Howard, Akilah Howard, Shelly Strickland, Rhonda (Gregory) Griffin, Delshon Strickland; he has 10 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; his sisters, Christine, Juanita, Pat, Priscilla; and a host of other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his wife of 39 years, Dorothy, his parents, Loney and Sarah Wagoner; brothers, Tommy, Jesse (TW), Tyrone (Ty), Earl (Fred); and sister, Connie.

Wood Family Funeral Service, Inc is handling the arrangements. For condolences, please visit

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