Lelia Lorene Wagner, 92, longtime resident of the Bartlesville area, died peacefully on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 2020, at Clarehouse in Tulsa with her children by her side. Many friends and family members also supported her with their love and prayers.
Lorene was born at home in Oklahoma City to James and Mabel Jane Gatewood on August 22, 1928. The second of three daughters, she grew up with older sister Myrle and Mable Ruth, affectionately nicknamed “baby sister.”
After graduating from Nowata High School, Lorene worked as a secretary in research and development at Phillips Petroleum, where she also sang in the company chorus. Some of her fondest memories of those years were from her traveling adventures with close friends in her turquoise and white Chevrolet.
When a mutual friend introduced Lorene to Wilmer Wagner, love was immediately in the air. Wilmer and Lorene married February 9, 1957, and thus began 63 years of wedded bliss. They had four children and enjoyed family life on their 40 acre property outside Bartlesville.
After raising her children, Lorene stayed busy with her church and community activities. She was a member of local extension and quilting clubs, and she enjoyed entering her creations in the Washington County Fair. She and Wilmer continued to maintain their large vegetable garden and spent many happy times together traveling around the country in their camper and occasionally overseas. They were active volunteers with the Lutheran Braille Workers and loved hosting their friends and family for cookouts and holidays.
Lorene was the definition of kindness and patience, always weathering life’s ups and downs with an uncommonly calm grace, faith, and sense of service to her loved ones. But she was also resourceful and creative. She was known among her family for her secret talent of solving difficult Sudoku puzzles with surprising speed, and her handmade cards and gifts were special keepsakes.
Lorene was preceded in death by her devoted husband Wilmer. She is survived by her two sisters, Myrle Brashear and Mable Ruth Delozier; her children David Wagner and wife Theresa, Denise Klingaman and husband Mike, Diane Andrews and husband Jeff, and Stephen Wagner; as well as seven grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and many other extended family members and dear friends.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks memorial contributions be made to Lutheran Braille Workers (Production Center 73), 13471 California Street P.O. Box 5000, Yucaipa, CA 92399 or online at www.lbwinc.org.