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Elizabeth (Betty) Illeana Wagner, 86, of Fisher, MN, passed away Thursday afternoon, January 3, 2019, at her residence, comforted by her loving family.
Elizabeth was born on September 1, 1932 in Grand Forks, ND, the daughter of Andrew and Pauline (Guether) Fladeland. Her early years were spent on a farm near Reynolds, ND. Elizabeth was baptized at a nearby country church and attended a one room schoolhouse. In 1943, the family moved to rural Red Lake Falls, where they purchased a farm. Elizabeth was confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church on April 14, 1946. She graduated as the Valedictorian of Red Lake Falls High School, Class of 1950.
As a teen-ager, Elizabeth was active in Walther League, a youth ministry group within the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church. Through the group’s activities, Elizabeth met Earl Kenneth Wagner of Fisher. Their friendship, while it remained lifelong, became a deep and abiding love, and they were united in marriage on May 26, 1951 at St. John’s Lutheran Church. After the wedding, they traveled to Ft. Benning, near Columbus, GA, where Earl was stationed. After Earl’s honorable discharge, the couple settled on a farm in Lowell Township (near Fisher) and together raised their six children in a loving, Christian home.
Farming was a partnership between Elizabeth and Earl, sharing in the duties it took to maintain a successful operation. Elizabeth was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Fisher. She was active in the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML) and over the years held many offices in the Church’s chapter. She also served both as President of MN North LWML and on the LWML International Board. Elizabeth’s passion for ministry extended to Lutheran Island Camp where she served as a board member.
After the graduation of her youngest daughter, Elizabeth decided to take up painting. Elizabeth completed 498 paintings, many of them gifted to family and friends. She was an accomplished seamstress and made wedding dresses for three of her daughter’s as well as bridesmaids’ dresses. Her love for travel took Elizabeth, Earl and their family to many places throughout the United States. Elizabeth and Earl retired from farming in 1990 after turning over the farm to their son, Robin. For nearly 25 years they wintered in Bonita Springs, Florida. This past October they moved to East Grand Forks.
Loving family members include Earl, Elizabeth’s beloved husband and best friend for over 67 years; their six children and spouses: Robin and Lisa Wagner of Fisher, MN, Andrew Wagner and fiancé, Christina Gulbranson, of Salt Lake City, UT, Holly and Bruce Blocker of Bagley, MN, Cheri and Kevin Knop of Monticello, MN, Sanna and Stephen Hett of Farmington, MN, and Lisa Meyer of New Prague, MN; 17 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. She also leaves a sister, Julie Rutherford of Grand Forks, MN; brother, Terry Fladeland and his wife, Jeri, of Hatton, ND; and many nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Andrew and Pauline Fladeland; brothers, John and Teddy Fladeland; brothers-in-law, Ronald Beiswenger and Herb Rutherford; and parents-in-law, Martin and Ida Wagner. May God bless the memory of Elizabeth Illeana Wagner.
The funeral service for Elizabeth Wagner will be held at 10:30 a.m., Monday, January 7, 2019, at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Fisher, MN with The Rev. Steve Bohler and The Rev. Larry Harvala, co-officiating. Visitation will be at the Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home in Crookston on Sunday from 5-7:00 p.m., with a 7:00 p.m. prayer service, and will continue for one hour prior to the funeral at the Church. Interment will take place in the Greenwood Cemetery at Fisher. Memorials may be given in memory of Betty to Lutheran Island Camp, 45011 230th Street, Henning, MN 56551 or the Trinity Lutheran Church in Fisher for the Stained Glass Window Fund.