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Reta Gage of Fargo, North Dakota and formerly of Oriska, North Dakota, died on September 10, 2023, at Bethany Retirement Living on University, in Fargo, at the age of 90, from complications following a back injury.
Reta Mae Wagner was born on May 31, 1933, to Herman Carl and Eleanor Mae (Kenely) Wagner, on the family farm in Wittenberg Township, six miles north of Olivet, South Dakota. The fifth of six children, she was followed shortly by her twin brother Ross.
Reta attended grade school at what was called the Wagner Country School in Wittenberg Township. Following, she attended Scotland High School, graduating in 1951. After graduation, she moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where she worked and lived with her sister Audrey. In 1952, she moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota to attend bible school at North Central Bible College. After one year of school, she remained in Minneapolis and worked at the offices of Dairyland Creamery and Honeywell.
While living in Minneapolis, she met a farmer from North Dakota, her future husband, Fred Gage. They were united in marriage in rural Olivet, South Dakota on September 29, 1956, and she moved to his farm in rural Oriska, North Dakota. To their union were born two sons, Douglas Fred and Kenneth Wayne. Fred died in 1982 after 26 years of marriage. In 1990, Reta moved to Fargo, North Dakota.
Throughout Reta’s life, her Christian faith was important to her, and she was aways active in the churches she attended. She also found many ways to be active in the community she lived in. In Oriska, she was a member of the Wiemer Homemaker’s Club. She was on the board of directors for the Women’s Division of the North Dakota Winter Show. Fred and Reta were active in the International Flying Farmers organization. From 1972 to 1983, Reta conducted ceramic classes, which was a social gathering place for many of the neighbors. In Fargo, she volunteered and was on the board of New Life Center.
Throughout her life, Reta was able to travel to various parts of the world. Once, Fred and Reta traveled to South America to visit missionaries. She made a trip to Israel and Rome with a church group. She traveled to Europe to attend the passion play at Oberammergau. Five times, she traveled to Africa, one time with Fred to visit her sister Phyllis and four times with Phyllis to volunteer at the library of African Christian colleges.
Reta is survived by son Douglas of Burnsville, Minnesota, daughter-in-law Wanda Gage of Mayville, North Dakota, sister Phyllis Wagner of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, sisters-in-law Arlene Wagner of Sioux Falls, South Dakota and June Ruyle of Sun City West, Arizona, along with cousins, nieces, and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Fred, son Kenneth, brothers Carl and Ross, and sisters DeLora Waldner and Audrey Olson.
Please direct any memorials to: New Life Center, P.O. Box 1067, Fargo, ND 58107
Funeral: Monday, September 18, 2023, at 11 am in West Funeral Home, West Fargo, ND, with visitation held one hour prior to her service.
Burial: Monday at 2:30 pm in Memory Gardens, rural Valley City, ND.
West Funeral Home & Life Tribute Center