Shirley LaVonne (Elkins) Wagner, “The Elk”, age 68, of Las Cruces, New Mexico, formerly of Detroit, Michigan, died peacefully Friday, March 2, 2018 while holding her husband’s hand in Mountain View Regional Medical Center in Las Cruces.
She was born July 6, 1949 in Milton, West Virginia, the seventh of eleven children born to Lawson and Frances Elkins, Sr. She married Loren Elias Wagner Sunday August 4, 1974 in Detroit, Michigan. Although officially married for forty-three years, her husband contends he has spent forty-five years “UtPoaSW” (Under the Power of a Single Woman).
Shirley, known affectionately as “The Elk,” earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. She was sworn in as a police officer of the Detroit Police Department in 1975, and attained the ranks of Sergeant in 1983 and Lieutenant in 1986. Shirley retired from the force in 2001, having most recently served fifteen years as a Shift Lieutenant of the Fifth Precinct.
Shirley will be greatly missed by family and friends. She is survived by her husband, Loren E. Wagner of Las Cruces; two sisters, Sharon Lynn Sifrit of Columbus, Ohio, Lila Elizabeth Bleosoe of West Virginia; three brothers, Lawson Clark (Sarah “Sally”) Elkins, Jr. of California, Albert Leon Elkins of Kentucky, Harry Lewis Elkins of West Virginia; and a host of nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; two sisters, Linda Claire Elkins, Leafy Charlene Elkins; and three brothers, Lyndon Clovis Elkins, Gary Ladon Elkins, Sr., and Benjamin Lyle Elkins.
Family and friends will gather Wednesday, April 4, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. until time of service at 11:00 a.m. in Cross of Christ Lutheran Church, 2540 El Paseo Road, Las Cruces, with the Reverend James R. Connell officiating.
The family prefers contributions in The Elk’s memory made to either Cross of Christ Lutheran Church, 2540 El Paseo Road, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88001, or, SNAP – Spay Neuter Action Program, 2405 West Picacho Avenue, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88007.