Audiologist, author, activist, artist, and loving mother and grandmother, Eleanor "Elly" Ruth Wagner was born in Pittsburgh, PA on Sept. 17, 1941. Raised in Houston, PA, Elly graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the College of Wooster and a master’s degree from the University of Illinois. In 1965, while registering voters in Montgomery AL, she attended a sermon by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that inspired her lifelong activism. She worked tirelessly to make the world a better place, consistently championing the causes of social justice, voting rights, LGBTQ+ rights, non-violence, and climate stabilization and sustainability.
In 1971 she moved to Edina where she made her home, raised her children, and cultivated the garden that was her pride and joy later in life. She worked as an audiologist at Park Nicollet Medical Center for over 40 years, specializing in patients with tinnitus. Elly was an author, publishing 3 books including Lavender Reflections, a book of affirmations for lesbians and gay men, published in 1995. Her other professions included photography, gardening herbs and flowers, crafting, and was a vendor and then president of the Hopkins Farmer’s Market. Elly was a skilled musician who brought people together through music and song. She was active in her local community, including the Lyndale United Church of Christ, Grandmothers for Peace, MN Herb Society, and several writer and book groups.
She died after a long battle with pancreatic cancer on Sept. 23, 2021 at home, surrounded by family and friends. Predeceased by her parents Homer and Louise and brothers David and William, she is survived by her sister Lois, brother Paul, long-term friend Kathy, sons Glydewell (Cynthia) and Keith (Jennifer), and 4 grandchildren.
The memorial service for Eleanor “Elly” Ruth Wagner is scheduled for Saturday October 9th 2021 at Minnehaha Regional Park, Wabun Shelter C (4655 46th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406). Gathering will begin at 12:30PM with the Service starting at 1PM.
We will be creating a memory wall for Elly’s service, so please feel free to bring a photo, note, poem, memory to hang on the wall. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Lyndale UCC on Elly’s behalf.
You can also join the service by zoom.
Arrangements entrusted to SUMMIT Funeral & Cremation
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