Phoenix, July 9, 2002
We are here today, not to mourn, but to celebrate a great lady, Judy Chen Sekaquaptewa Wagner, whose very name encompasses three of the best worlds.
It was in the later part of the 1940’s when Judy, as a young woman, rebellious, courageous, and curious, left a family of her dentist father and his pharmaceutical company in Shanghai, China; crossed the Pacific; and married Wayne Sekaquaptewa, a brilliant radio engineer/entrepreneur of the great Hopi Nation in Arizona. The quiet union between Judy and Wayne in fact symbolizes an unprecedented gathering of two ancient peoples on two sides of the ocean, who in prehistoric times may have been one and the same. Love and faith propagated the family to grow, starting with four children and now numbering nearly 40 members. Wayne, a very good man of kindness, goodness, and patience, met God’s early call.
Chance encounters brought John Wagner to Judy’s life, and they married some years later. As Goethe once said, and I paraphrase, that the German and Chinese people share the same sentiments, visions, and passions. So did John and Judy have a goodly some 16 years of happy life together. John unfortunately passed away two years ago. Once again, Judy was decimated, never the same again.
Yet, to her brothers and sisters, and I am sure, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, and all her relatives and friends, Judy will remain indelibly in their hearts and minds. She is an extraordinary weaver of peoples and cultures through her pioneering journey and struggles. She is a woman of singular prescience, courage, effervescence, determination, and diligence. But above all, she is a woman with a golden heart.
–Raphael M. Chen (Judy’s brother)