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Elaine Joann (Balkau) Wagner
Elaine Joann (Balkau) Wagner

April 14, 1944 - October 12, 2018
Born in The Bronx, New York
Resided in Lincoln Park Borough, New Jersey


Elaine Joann (Balkau) Wagner, 74, of Franklin, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Friday, October 12, 2018, at Lincoln Park Care Center following a five-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Born in The Bronx, New York, on April 14, 1944, Elaine grew up in West New York, NJ, spending the majority of her life between Sussex County, NJ, and Shohola, PA, finally retiring to Spartanburg, SC. Elaine’s final years were spent back in Sussex County surrounded by her family.

Elaine attended Jersey City Nursing School following her dream inspired by her late Aunt Elsie Guthrie. A registered nurse at Newton Medical Center in Newton, NJ, for eighteen years, she had previously worked at Alexander Linn Hospital in Sussex Borough, NJ. After leaving Newton Medical Center, Elaine worked in rehabilitation at Milford Senior Care. She held a license in three states - New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. She dedicated her life to nursing and worked in nursing for 40 years. No matter how difficult the assignment, she accepted the challenge. She loved her patients and was sometimes guilty of spending too much time with them.

Elaine enjoyed camping, antiquing, shopping and spending time with her family.

The daughter of the late William and Olga (Finferd) Balkau, Elaine is survived by her soulmate, Gerald A. Wagner, Sr., whom she married in 1971 and celebrated 47 years of marriage this past September. She is also survived by four children, Holly L’Ecuyer and husband, Mark, of Ogdensburg, Patsy Wickey and husband, Brian, of Newburgh, New York, Debra Muntzel and husband, Drew, of Vancouver, Washington, and Gerald “Jerry” Wagner, Jr., and wife, Angie, of Montague; seven grandchildren; eight great- grandchildren; and two siblings, Richard Balkau and wife, Dolores, of Jackson, NJ, and Betty Rytter and husband, Artie, of Ware Shoals, SC; as well as several nieces and nephews.

A remembrance service will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 10, 2018, at the Lafayette Township Firehouse, 126 NJ-15, Lafayette Township, NJ 07848.

Memorial donations may be made to Columbia University Alzheimer’s Research Center, 630 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10032.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Smith-McCracken Funeral Home, 63 High Street, Newton, NJ 07860. Online condolences may be offered at

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Remembrance Service
Lafayette Firehouse
126 Route 15
Lafayette, New Jersey 07848
Saturday, November 10, 2018
2:30 PM

Copyright 2006 Smith McCracken Funeral Home and Funeralnet