Eleanor Mary Wagner, nee Jeffries, age 97, of Willow Street, PA, formerly of Newtown Square, PA, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, and sister, went home to be with her Savior on June 20, 2023 with her daughter by her side.
Eleanor remained devoted to Jesus Christ throughout her life. She was faithful to worship at Aldan Union Church of Aldan, PA from the 1950s through the 1990s. Her heart for praising the Lord continued at Proclamation Presbyterian Church of Bryn Mawr, PA in the 2000s and then at Harvest Presbyterian Church of Lancaster, PA when she moved to Willow Street in 2008. When she could no longer commute to church, she faithfully attended chapel services in her assisted living community.
She supervised the annual Missionary Conference at Aldan Union Church for years. Thanks to her hard work, members of the congregation would browse tables of the displays of missionaries who served the Lord around the world. Along with her late husband, Charles, Eleanor devoted herself to a fellowship group, a group Bible study, with a half-dozen couples that also lasted for decades.
Her family knew that Eleanor took seriously the Bible’s call for obedience to God’s commands, a recipe for a good life at peace with God. Her pursuit of righteous living made her very infrequent stumbles humorous. There was one occasion when she innocently quoted someone else who had uttered obscenities. Her children may never have laughed so hard at the shock.
Eleanor was faithful to send her children greeting cards that contained both Bible verses and exhortations to walk with Christ. She was also a fervent prayer warrior, ignoring problems with her hearing and eyesight in her last years to ask how she could pray for people in need. Her son Charles, who will be officiating at the funeral and graveside services, attributes her devoted prayers to the radical transformation of his heart in the last decade.
This woman had a delightful stubbornness to continue to live. Since 2008, she overcame a cardiac arrest, a stroke, cancer, and a leg fracture with a display of strength and determination that the strongest of men could admire. In recent weeks, her body gently told her it was time for her to enter into eternal rest. Her children have no doubt that she is this moment enjoying Jesus face-to-face, as well as being reconnected with her husband, parents, her youngest sister Ruth, her son-in-law Jay Ball, and her former daughter-in-law Louise Wagner who predeceased her.
Eleanor was born on September 20, 1925, the second child and first daughter of the late Samuel and Mary Jeffries (nee Gamble). She graduated from Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL in the late 1940s. She married her husband, Charles Wagner, in August of 1950. She subsequently gave birth to two daughters and a son. The family lived in Newtown Square, PA where Eleanor served briefly as a teacher at Delaware County Christian School. She worked for over a decade at B. Altman and Company in St. David’s, PA. Shortly before the passing of her husband in 2000, on the day of their 50th wedding anniversary, the couple traveled to Europe twice and to destinations in the US. As a widow, Eleanor continued to travel with her daughter Joan.
Eleanor is survived by her three children, Lynn Kraftson of Vienna, VA (son-in-law Daniel Kraftson), Joan Ball of Willards, MD, and Charles Wagner (Jr.) of Gloucester, MA (daughter-in-law Karen Wagner); her six grandchildren including Todd Kraftson (Allison Kraftson), Jeffrey Kraftson (Emily Kraftson), Brett Kraftson (Megan Kraftson), Cory Kraftson, Chad Wagner, and Stephanie Bedway (Matt Bedway); eleven great-grandchildren and a twelfth great-grandchild expected to be born later this year; her sisters Doris Frizen of Coatesville, PA, and Miriam Grubb of Greenville, Rhode Island; and ten nephews and five nieces and their families.
A Funeral Service will be held on Thursday, June 29, 2023 at 11:00 am at Alleva Funeral Home at 1724 East Lancaster Avenue, Paoli, PA 19301. A visitation will be held one hour prior starting at 10 am. Eleanor’s son Charles Wagner will officiate a ceremony of celebration. Interment of her remains, but not her spirit, will take place at 12:30 pm at Valley Forge Memorial Gardens, 352 South Gulph Road, 19406, King Of Prussia, PA. Following the service, all are invited to a catered reception at the funeral home.
To view the service virtually, please click the following link:
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: TFC Global, Marietta, PA
; BCM International, Lancaster PA –
; Search Ministries, PO Box 165029, Fort Worth, TX 76161-5029
. If making a contribution to Search Ministries, please state “in memory of Mrs. Wagner” and “Area 14” in the memo line of the check.
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