Lenora Garniewski Wagner of Wilmington, DE passed away peacefully on June 17, 2020 following her courageous battle with brain cancer at age 65. Lenora was born on January 25, 1955 in New Castle, DE. She was the second-born child to John and Eleanor Garniewski. One of seven children, she grew up in New Castle with summers spent in Ocean City, NJ. She was a caregiver to not only her younger siblings, but also her many cousins. She attended St. Peter’s School and was a graduate of the first class at St. Mark’s High School, where she had a love for music, especially playing the piano. After high school, she went on to the University of Delaware to earn two degrees in finance and accounting and spent her career working in accounting.
Lenora met her first husband, Michael Wagner, not long after graduation. They went on to marry and have two children, Christa and Alexander. She was always there for her children, through sports, academics, and activities with her endless love and support. There was not a moment in her children’s lives that she was not present for, including the births of four amazing grandchildren (Olivia, Keegan, Luca and Harper) – who quickly took over as her reason to keep fighting.
Her second greatest passion, next to her love for her family, was running. Running opened her up to a world she hadn’t known before and challenged her to find incredible strength inside. What started as 5ks led to her first full marathon in October 2012 with her two children as they all crossed the finish line in Niagara Falls. This passion also introduced her to her partner Peter FitzGerald, who shared the same love for running.
Her glioblastoma diagnosis didn’t stop her love for running, it only fueled it. Having set a goal years prior to run half marathons in half the states, she accomplished that goal and crossed the finish line of her 25th state, Utah, with Peter and her sister Tina by her side.
Those who knew Lenora knew of her kind and thoughtful nature as someone who always went above and beyond for those she loved, especially her family. Family meant the world to her and she was present for everything.
Lenora smiled right until the very end. Her positive attitude helped her defy all odds. She never stopped fighting, with her grandchildren as motivation to keep going. Running taught her that when you face challenges and hills in life, that it’s ok to walk, but to keep moving forward and never stop.
She will be forever loved and missed by her children, Christa (Michael) and Alexander (Kendall); four grandchildren, Olivia, Keegan, Luca, and Harper. She is also survived by her parents, John, and Eleanor Garniewski; and six siblings, Jack (Michelle), Bernadette (Bruce), Joe (Tish), Monica, Stephanie (Michael) and Tina (Matt). She is also loved by her countless nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. She was preceded in death by her sister-in-law Kathryn Garniewski.
A visitation will be held on Thursday, June 25 from 9 to 10:30 at Krienen Funeral Home, 101 West 6th Street, New Castle, DE 19720. Due to the pandemic, mass and burial services will be private. A celebration of life will be held in the fall.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Lenora’s name to the National Brain Tumor Society, https://nbtsevents.braintumor.org/Hope4Lenora