Cover photo for Lela Durene Wagner's Obituary
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1919 Lela 2022

Lela Durene Wagner

May 2, 1919 — December 7, 2022


  Lela Wagner, 103, passed away December 7, 2022 at The Pines in Davidson.  She was born on May 2, 1919 to the late Lannie and Stella Samford.  She is preceded in death by her husband; Ernest Elmer Wagner and one son; Ernest Wagner Jr.

  Lela grew up on a farm in Rains County, Texas in a family of seven children. After graduating from high school, she moved to Beaumont, Texas to attend business college.  She was employed as an office manager during World War II when she met Elmer Wagner, a young army officer, and they married after a whirlwind romance. Married for 62 years they raised a daughter and two sons. Elmer's job transfers while working for Mobil Oil led them to relocate from Beaumont, Texas to the suburbs of New York City and then to Fairfax County, Virginia where they retired. While living in New York State, Lela returned to work as an office manager at a county mental health clinic for 14 years. They moved to the Asbury Village retirement community in Gaithersburg, Maryland in 2004. In 2020 Lela moved with her daughter and son-in-law to Cornelius, North Carolina and resided with them during the pandemic. Her final home was The Pines in Davidson, North Carolina. In retirement she enjoyed gardening and taking a number of cross-country trips with her husband and his two sisters and their spouses. A wonderful highlight was the celebration of her one hundredth birthday at Asbury with family, friends, and caregivers. Her greatest joy however was spending time in her later years with grandchildren and great grandchildren and most especially when they were babies. As one of her sons described her, she was a “strong and determined Texas woman” which she continued to display as she valiantly dealt with the challenges of living a very long life to the age of 103 and 7 months!

  She is survived by her daughter; Gail Anderson and husband Henry, son; Lannie Wagner and wife Judy, six grandchildren, four great grandchildren, sister-in-law; Marjorie Wagner Butler and daughter-in-law; Diane DiGiovanni.

  A graveside service will be held at 11:00am on Thursday, December 15, 2022 at the All Souls Cemetery, 11401 Brink Rd., Germantown, Maryland 28076.

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