Ankeny, Ruth Widdowson


Ruth (Widdowson) Ankeny, 88, wife of the Rev. E. Eugene Ankeny, joined the church triumphant on Wednesday, March 3, 2017.  

Ruth lovingly and devotedly served as a pastor’s wife for 66 years.  During that time she always sang in the church choir, sometimes directing and occasionally developing a youth choir, always sharing her joyous spirit with everyone as a friend and confidante.  The Ankenys served churches in Western Pennsylvania, including Mount Jewett/Hazelhurst, Edinboro, New Castle Epworth, Trinity McMurray, Slippery Rock, Arnold 1982-1987 and Wesley in Connellsville before Rev. Ankeny retired in 1995. After moving to Florida, they served Wagg Memorial UMC in West Palm Beach for eight years.

A graduate of Cambria-Rowe Business College, from 1970 until 1995, she worked as secretary for a nursing administrator, hospital administrator and a doctor's medical staff. 

In addition to her husband Gene she leaves behind a son, Aaron Eugene and his wife Peggy; and a daughter, Debra Ruth and her husband Dr. John L. Briggle.  She had six grandchildren, Jarad Ankeny, Trever Ankeny, Matthew Briggle, Ryan Briggle, Brenden Ankeny and Leslie Ann Briggle, and four great-grandchildren, Bradie Ankeny, Hunter Ankeny, Mason Ankeny and Leeora Ankeny.

Daughter of  the late Harry O. and Myrtle (Henry) Widdowson, she had five brothers,  Kenneth,(deceased) Wendell, Ronald (deceased), Dale and Fred and six sisters, Kathryn (deceased), Wilda (deceased), Ruby, Margie, Janet and Iris.

Ruth always had a special love of children, which increased four-fold in recent years of living with Alzheimers.

She had physical restrictions all of her life because of  prenatal bilateral hip dislocations which were first treated for 3.5 years at Children’s Hospital in Elizabethtown, PA.  In her late 20s, she had a partial right hip replacement, followed by total hip replacements and, after wearing those out, she had second total hip replacements.

In recent years, she had arthritic deterioration of her knees which could not be replaced because she was a poor surgical risk.  She was diagnosed with Alzheimers disease in 2011.  On the day before her 88th birthday (Feb. 29, 2017), she had a stroke and entered hospice care until her very peaceful death to this life with the assurance of a life with no restrictions in the everlasting Presence of our eternal Father.

A funeral service was scheduled at First United Methodist Church, Boca Raton, Florida for Monday, March 13.  In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Florida United Methodist Children’s Home and mailed to FUMC, Boca Raton, FL 33432 Arrangements by Glick Family Funeral Home.