A Heavenly celebration erupted August 5th 2023, when God's good and faithful servant Phyllis Ann Wagner was called home. She was surrounded by family early that morning at IU Methodist hospital, where she closed her eyes peacefully on this side and opened them in full sight on the other.
Phyllis was born on April 30th 1944 to her parents Edward William and Ora Beatrice (Sutton) Wagner, their eighth child. After marrying a marine at young age, she lovingly raised 3 daughters even after losing her full eye sight. In 1971 she earned the Master Christian Service training diploma from the Church of God. Later, she would go on to obtain her high school diploma June of 1974, fully blind. Over the years her pursuit of higher education never ceased. She conquered the bus transit system with use of her guide dogs to gather audio books from the library and take business classes at Ivy tech. By 1993, after being awarded the Hadley School for the blind certificate for achievement, she became an Ambassador for Leader Dogs for the Blind, often being called on to be a public speaker at events and at various colleges and universities. Over 30 years Phyllis successfully worked with Leader Dogs for the Blind.
Coming from faith-filled and business savvy parents, she spring-boarded from helping at the Wagner family Market to many other successful business ventures. For many years she brushed elbows with politicians as she worked for a snack service for a fellow blind vendor in the State office Building downtown Indianapolis. Followed by holding down being a land lady, and then starting her own laundry and maid service business.
A pillar in her church, she was passionate about traveling with the Nursing home ministry with a women's group from Word of Life Church.
Family was the center of importance throughout her life. Breaking boundaries as a blind Brownie leader with her own children, and always avidly supporting school and sports for her grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Never one to let obstacles stand in her way, she was an extremely good cook and made homemade treats for her grandchildren every holiday. At family events and social gatherings she could often be found dancing, riding a tandem bike, tossing a football, singing worship songs and was always quick witted. As her physical condition worsened, she still ministered to her home health aides and to those she could reach by phone. Most memorable being her outbound voicemail messages we all know and love. Loving called "her thought for the day," which would include Bible scriptures, words of affirmation and encouragement.
Proceeded in death by her youngest daughter Cindy Heyob, as well as her own parents and siblings.
She is survived by her daughters Rhonda (Heyob) Alcorn, and Angela (Tom) Schaffer; 4 grandchildren Jason Alcorn, Justin (Jana) Schaffer, Tabbatha (Brian) Tilley, and Daisha (Jimmy) Ottinger. As well as 17 great grandchildren (Cameron, Madison, Morgan, Mitch, Shelby, Abbie, Alyssia, Jakob,
Janaeya, Janelle, Julia, Jillian, Joel, Jordan, James, Kyleigh, and Khloe). In addition, she will be missed dearly as well by her several remaining nephews, nieces, their extended families, and her church family.
Services will be held Saturday August 12th at Fountain Square Cremation and Funeral Services, 1420 Prospect St, Indianapolis, IN 46203
Service will begin at noon with the procession to Anderson Cemetery 6501 E 10th St, Indianapolis, IN 46219 for graveside service and burial.
En lieu of flowers, the family would be honored with any donations made in Phyllis’ memory to her favorite charities.
Leader Dogs Of the Blind
American Bible Society
'Send The Love's WTHR