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A Wetzel and Son Obituary for:
Magdalena Wagner
August 17, 1926 - July 12, 2016

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Contacts

Funeral Home - Wetzel and Son Funeral Home - 419 Huntingdon Pike, Rockledge, PA 19046 - 215-663-8550 - Map
Clergy - Presentation B. V. M. Church - 100 Old Soldiers Road, Cheltenham, PA 19012 - 215-379-1364 - Map
Cemetery - Holy Sepulchre Cemetery - 3301 West Cheltenham Avenue, Cheltenham, PA 19038 - 215-884-5728 - Map
Family Florist - Schmidt’s Florist - 700 Solly Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111 - 215-745-6234 - Map
Donation - American Diabetes Association - PO Box 11454, Alexandria, VA 22312 - 610-828-5003 - Map

Magdalena Wagner of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania died Tuesday, July 12, 2016 at her home. She was 89 years old. Magdalena was born August 17, 1926 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, daughter of the late Josef Rupp and the late Maria Rupp (nee - Noll). She is the beloved wife of the late Joseph N. Wagner; mother of Susan M. Resling and her husband Stephen, and Barbara A. Beltramo and her husband Thomas, and the late Joseph J Wagner and his wife Josie. Grandmother of Joseph K. Wagner, Jennifer N. Resling, Lauren M. Beltramo and Amber L. Beltramo. She is also survived by her loving dog and loving companion, Gracie.

Magdalena was born in Philadelphia, where she was raised for her first three years. Longing for their homeland, her parents decided to return their with their family to Romania in 1929 where Magdalena would remain until her early twenties. Though the family was leaving the United States behind as the nation was beginning to feel the strains of the Great Depression, life in their homeland would not prove to be easier. The period of time following World War I left many areas of Europe in an almost constant state of flux, especially as the former Austrian-Hungarian Empire was being dissolved and redistributed amongst the surrounding territories. These new boundaries meant that the Kingdom of Romania would not only find itself with its largest territorial area in its history, but a fledgling government tasked with unifying these new lands. In addition to these major changes in government, the people of Romania were facing near constant harassment from the military presence of the Soviet Union along its borders.

Magdalena and her family experienced the looming Soviet threat and mistreatment first hand, which continually escalated in the years leading up to the second World War. Internment camps and forced labor for the people were not uncommon occurances. Often, the Soviet soldiers would load railway boxcars full of Romanian people to shuttle them between these labor camps. Magdalena found herself subjected to that exact situation at age 17: forced into the boxcars that were filled beyond their intended capacity, transporting men and women from all over the countryside to their next tasks. She worked for years in the coal mines alongside other women who were all taken from their villages and from their families. These women forged bonds with each other quickly and supported one another through their grueling day-to-day work and these bonds would last them many years into the future. Magdalena also recounted the tale of being detained by the military for a period of time and the vivid memory of acting just quickly enough to hide her earrings to avoid having them confiscated by the troops. Perhaps one of the most painful details to recall is that through this struggle, the degradation, and the intense mistreatment at the hands of foreign invaders, is that Magdalena was an American citizen and could have possibly fled back to the United States and avoided the suffering and injustices doled out at the hands of the Soviet Union.
In 1948, at the age of 22, Magdalena would return to Philadelphia where she would immediately face her newest set of challenges: speaking only German in a community that was very much English-speaking. Magdalena would meet her future husband, Joseph N. Wagner, who himself was a German translator during his military service in World War II, soon after moving to Philadelphia. The couple began dating, Joseph even translating the dialogue of films for Magdalena as she learned the language. The two were smitten and soon wed on October 15, 1949 in St. Henry’s Church, sharing in 50 years of marriage. In 1951, they welcomed their first their first child, Joseph, into the world. He was followed by Susan in 1955, and Barbara in 1963. The family moved into their home on St. Vincent Street in 1952. During her working years, Magdalena held different positions, but was always busy, whether it was cleaning houses or with other jobs. Later in her life, Magdalena found new joy in the births of her grandchildren. The proximity of her children’s homes and her own home allowed her to be a constant fixture in every aspects of her family’s lives. This encouraged many sleep-overs, playing cards, and enjoying other games with them. Magdalena would have done anything for her family, and they were all very much aware of this.

Relatives and friends were invited to her Viewing on Monday, July 18, 2016 from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. at the Wetzel and Son Funeral Home, 419 Huntingdon Pike, Rockledge, PA 19046. Relatives and friends were also invited to her viewing the following morning, Tuesday, July 19, 2016 from 9:00 A.M. and Funeral Mass at 10:00 A.M. at Presentation B. V. M. Church, 100 Old Soldiers Road, Cheltenham, PA 19012 www.presentationbvm.org. Her Graveside Service followed at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, 3301 West Cheltenham Avenue, Cheltenham, PA 19038.
Religious services were conducted by Fr. William S. Harrison from Presentation B. V. M. Church, 100 Old Soldiers Road, Cheltenham, PA 19012.

Though Magdalena did not suffer from Diabetes, the American Diabetes Association is close to her heart. In lieu of flowers, charitable donations may be made in her memory to American Diabetes Association, 150 Monument Road, Suite 100, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 www.diabetes.org. Family flowers arranged by Schmidt’s Florist 215-745-6234.
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