PIERRE, SD – Elaine Wagner passed away Tuesday evening, February 12, 2019 after a 2 ½ year courageous battle against cancer that she fought with dignity, grace and strength. Elaine was born June 17, 1941, in Lebanon, South Dakota to Melvin and Dorothy (Breitkreutz) Merrill. She grew up in Lebanon and graduated from Agar High School in 1959. Elaine spent many fun times at the swimming pool in Lebanon and roller skating as well as being a cheerleader while in high school.
After graduation, Elaine moved to Pierre where she worked for the South Dakota Department of Transportation for 33 years until her retirement in 1998. Elaine’s education and training took place on the job. By the time of her retirement, she worked as a Senior Accountant.
Elaine was united in marriage to Lyle Wagner on June 11, 1960, in Agar, SD. Elaine and Lyle found Pierre to be the perfect place to raise their family. Elaine was a devoted member of Faith Lutheran Church, where a special bond was formed with Pastor Brad Urbach. A special thank you to Pastor Brad for the years of spiritual care that he provided to Elaine, Lyle and their family.
Elaine was also active in Priscilla Circle, LWML, hospital auxiliary and gift shop; along with volunteering for the Pierre Senior Center tax preparation program for many years. Elaine was an avid bowler for many years and also enjoyed fishing, gardening, canning (especially dill pickles) and spending time with her family. Elaine’s greatest treasures were all of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, to whom she formed very special bonds with. She enjoyed spending time with them, whether it was going to their various activities or spending time with them creating memories. In her more recent years, Elaine enjoyed the Parkwood Community where she made many new friends. She enjoyed all the activities there, especially Bingo nights and the time spent visiting in the library with her friends.
Elaine is survived by her two sons: Ron (Lynda) Wagner and Pastor Don (Jolene) Wagner; two daughters: Ronda (Dane) Steffen and Darcie (Tom) Kurtenbach; 12 grandchildren: Tim Ehrlich, Jacob Wagner, Austin Wagner, Caileen Ostenson, Sarah Hendrickson, Matthew Wagner, Tanner Wagner, Jeffrey Wagner, Laura Alderman, Zachary Steffen, Nicholas Kurtenbach and Adam Kurtenbach; nine great-grandchildren: Brynna Ehrlich, Taegan Ehrlich, Chase Wagner, Abby Wagner, Avery Alderman, Crosby Alderman, Lucy Hendrickson, Bella Ostenson and Remington Hendrickson; two brothers: Raymond Merrill and Larry (Carol) Merrill; sister Norma Jean Gourlie; special friends Donna and Odean Solberg and the Parkwood Community.
Elaine was preceded in death by her husband, Lyle and her parents, Melvin and Dorothy Merrill.
Memorials in Elaine’s honor may be directed to Faith Lutheran Church or the Hospital Auxiliary.
Visitation will be 5-7pm, Monday, February 18 at Isburg Funeral Chapel with a prayer service at 7:00pm. Services will be 10:30am, February 19 at Faith Lutheran Church with burial at Riverside Cemetery
Arrangements have been placed in the care of Isburg Funeral Chapel. Online condolences may be made at www.isburgfuneralchapels.com