Lillian Adella Schaffer Ankeny

Published 12:02 am Sunday, July 31, 2011

MESA, Ariz. — Lillian Adella Schaffer Ankeny died Sunday, July 24, 2011, at her home, from advanced dementia of Alzheimer’s. She was 91.

She was born in Clarksfield, Ohio, to Frank A. and Alice Edna Martin Schaffer on Sept. 26, 1919. She was the third of 13 children. She graduated from New London High School in 1939. She was married to Felder R. Ankeny on Sept. 7, 1944, in the First Congregational Church of Elyria, Ohio. The couple became a family with Ralph (1946) and Tom (1949).

Lillian was an industrious helpmate and homemaker. She dug a basement under their first house. She made drapes and clothes for the boys and the American Red Cross. She taught her sons to roller skate, ride bikes and kick a football. She planted, harvested and canned vegetables from their garden and made jelly and jam.

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She graduated in the first class of the Practical Nurse School of Elyria and became a licensed graduate practical nurse in April 1960 in the state of Ohio upon passing the state board. She also received board certification in Arizona and Mississippi. Her professional career included services at Elyria Memorial Hospital in Ohio, Chandler Hospital in Arizona and private duty nursing.

She was a member of the East Mesa Seventh-Day Adventist Church, where she enjoyed greeting worshipers as they arrived.

She had been in 24/7 homecare by her niece, Liz Simpson of New London, Ohio, and supported by the hospice team — Pam, Marilyn, David and Annette — since February.

She enjoyed watching the birds and desert animals that visited her back yard for water as well as the Superstition Mountains.

She is survived by her two sons, Ralph E. Ankeny of Vicksburg and Thomas D. Ankeny of Tempe, Ariz.; and five siblings, Pauline Schaffer Mills of Greenwich, Ohio, Betty Schaffer Young of New London, Ohio, Richard Schaffer of New London, Conn., Dorothy Ryan Boggs of Claremont, N.C., and June Ryan Nolan of Bellflower, Calif.

The family requests remembrances be made to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix, AZ 85014-5656.

Burial will be in the Urn Garden of the Mesa City Cemetery in Mesa, Ariz.