Gloria Carol (Ikast) Wagner
Gloria Carol (Ikast) Wagner, 90, died Saturday, May 4, 2013, at Via Christi Village, Hays. She was born at home in Kingsburg County, South Dakota, to Carl and Marie (Nelson) Ikast on February 17, 1923. She was born into a strong Danish home where English later became the second language. Gloria told wonderful stories about her father who won the Purple Heart, her mother who ruled the roost, her grandmother who could be a handful and her siblings -- all of whom she loved. Gloria's primary job as a teenager on the South Dakota farm was to manage the family's sewing, a talent she cultivated all of her adult life.
Gloria graduated from Arlington (South Dakota) High School in 1941 and attended Business College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Anderson College, in Anderson, Indiana. She passed her passion for education on to her eldest child, Marcy, who is a third-grade teacher.
Gloria married Paul Raymond Wagner on August 28, 1947, at the First Church of God, Brookings, South Dakota. Last August, Paul and Gloria celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary. Gloria was Paul's touchstone during his five decades as a Church of God minister. Paul and Gloria committed their relationship and their lives to God, and that commitment led them to live in many towns across Kansas and in South Dakota. Paul survives of their home.
Proverbs 23:25 - Make your parents proud, especially your mother. Gloria was naturally very proud of her three children -- Marcia, Palco, Kansas; Alesia, Wichita, Kansas; and Kevin (Tama), St. Joseph, Missouri. Occasionally, Tama would catch Gloria telling Kevin, "you're so handsome" or "you're so smart!" A mother's love is abundant and perhaps a little blind.
"The death of a mother is the first sorrow wept without her." It's never easy to lose a mom -- even a mom who has been so ill; it's as if a piece of you goes with her when she dies. Gloria was very supportive of her children. She celebrated each success and was quietly strong during times of failure. Gloria was kind, elegant, spiritual and above all, a good mom. She passed those qualities to her daughter Alesia, who inherited her mom's sense of humor. Gloria will hold her children's hearts forever.
Gloria was also "Grandma" to five: Jeremy (Keri), Ariane (Fred), Adam, Katherine (Corey) and Mitchell. She was a great grandmother or "Grandma Great" to five: Natalie, Peyton, Adriana, Abigail and Roman. Two more great grandchildren are due in June and September, respectively, and she would have welcomed them with characteristic warmth and wonderment.
During her life, Gloria was active in her church, participating in the Women of the Church of God (WCG) at the local and state level. She was also active in the Rooks County Extension program for homemakers. Until just a few months ago, Gloria was also a volunteer in the Fort Hays State University Foster Grandparent program. Gloria was also employed as a secretary.
Gloria was preceded in death by her parents and three sisters.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 am on Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at the North Oak Community Church, Hays, with Pastor John Wiker officiating. Her body will be cremated after the services. Visitation will be from 6:00 until 8:00pm on Monday at the Hays Memorial Chapel Funeral Home and on Tuesday from 9:30 until service time at the church. Memorials are suggested in Gloria's memory to the North Oak Community Church, in care of the funeral home. Condolences may be left for the family at www.haysmemorial.com