January 14, 1935 ~ May 6, 2022
Born in: Castalian Springs, TN
Resided in: Indianapolis, IN
Ms. Lena Frances Wagner entered this life on January 14th, 1935, as the third child of the late Joseph Lee and Jennie Frances Whittaker in Castalian Springs, TN. Upon the family’s move to Indianapolis, IN, she attended IPS #42 and later Crispus Attucks High School. By 1952, Lena had married Robert Willis Parham and would welcome their baby girl, Judith Elaine Parham. Lena and Robert would eventually go their separate ways and she would go on to be remarried to William Arthur Wagner in 1956. While Lena had already loved and accepted the Lord in her life, she was baptized on August 16th, 1959, at 25th Street Baptist Church.
Lena would go on to complete her high schooling with Arsenal Technical High School in 1971 and later attaining her associate degree in Applied Sciences in Computer Programming Technology in 1985. Ms. Lena, with a pure heart, also chose to spend her time giving back to her community by becoming a certified literacy tutor for the Literacy Volunteers of America.
Lena would eventually retire from The Indianapolis State Department as a Data Entry Processor during a time when only a few African American women could be seen in these types of professions. She then spent a few years working for Electronic Data Systems, operating the IBM computer mainframes. Lena would later move on and retire from Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield as a Computer Programmer.
There was no doubt that Lena enjoyed her work and loved what she did, but she undoubtedly loved the joy of friendship and family as well. Over the years she would enjoy parties, social clubs, and traveling with friends and family. She was so blessed, as she would often say, to still be around to see all her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great great-grandchildren.
After 87 years around the sun, Ms. Lena Frances Wagner was called home on Friday, May 6, 2022.
She was preceded in death by her parents Joseph Lee and Jennie Frances Whittaker; her sister Mary Elizabeth Parish; two brothers Joseph Lee Whittaker Jr. & Xavier Leon “Bunny” Whittaker; a niece Rita Le Vese Whittaker, and her beloved nephew Norman Eugene Bonds Jr.
She leaves to cherish her love and memory a daughter, Judith Elaine Parham; two grandchildren, William Arthur (Cecelia) Parham & Juanita Frances (Damion) Douglas; four great-grandchildren, Jacob Andrew (Ferrin) Parham Sr., Nathanial Lewis Parham (Kirah Lang), Ryan Frances Douglas, & Alex Elaine Douglas; and three great great-grandchildren, Jacob Andrew Parham II, Justus Amir Parham, and Nilah Mi’chele Parham; three nieces Regina Lorraine Bonds, Paulette Whittaker, and Natasha Whittaker, and a host of great-nieces, great-nephews, extended family and friends.