2024-05-21 7:34 PM

CIA Officer, 40-year Falls Church Resident Philip Waggener Dies


Philip A. Waggener, 92, a retired CIA intelligence officer, died of colon cancer Nov. 13, 2020, in Boulder, Colorado.

He was born in Detroit, Michigan, on Sept. 1, 1928 to George and Marian (McQueen) Waggener, and attended Lincoln High School in Ferndale, Michigan.

Mr. Waggener graduated from the University of Arizona in 1950, and was the editor of the student newspaper in his senior year.

He lived in Falls Church from 1964 to 2003, in Denver, Colorado, from 2003 to 2011, and finally at Frasier Meadows Retirement Community in Boulder from 2011 to 2020.

Early in his career Mr. Waggener was editor of a small weekly newspaper in Miami, Arizona, and later was the sports publicity director for the University of Arizona. He was called to active duty in the Air Force in 1952 and subsequently worked as a civilian on the intelligence staff of the North American Air Defense Command in Colorado Springs. He joined the CIA in 1964 as an analyst focusing on foreign military capabilities and became deputy director of the Office of Strategic Research before retiring in 1980.

He then worked at the Center for Naval Analyses in Alexandria as an editor for 10 years and later pursued a part-time career as a free-lance writer and editor.

Before joining the CIA, Mr. Waggener studied at the University of Chicago under a fellowship from the National Institute of Public Affairs. He also attended the Royal College of Defence Studies in London in 1974. His honors at the CIA included the Certificate of Distinction and the Intelligence Medal of Merit.

Mr. Waggener’s interests included piloting small aircraft, sailing, photography, and woodworking. For several years he was a behind-the-scenes volunteer at the National Air and Space Museum, helping preserve and catalog historic materials. He was a deacon at the Little River United Church of Christ in Annandale, Virginia, and a past president of the Holmes Run Acres Civic Association.

Survivors include his wife of 70 years, Elaine, of Boulder; a son, Terry, in Virginia; two daughters, Vicki Czech of Boulder, and Lori Waggener, also of Boulder; six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.


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