Lois Gust Ankeny was born December 21, 1930, the only child of Karl and Dorothy Reynolds Gust on a farm south of Verdi, MN. She was born in the same bedroom as her Mother and her Mother’s eight siblings. She was raised on another farm south of Verdi. During her growing up years she was active in school activities and 4-H, winning trips to the State Fair with her projects. For 12 years she attended the school in Verdi where she graduated in 1948. That fall she enrolled in the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, majoring in Home Economics. She graduated from the University in June of 1952. While at the University she met John Ankeny and they were married July 19, 1952, at the little Methodist church in Verdi where Lois had been baptized and confirmed. It was the church that her great grandfather, Thomas Hancock Reynolds helped start. This was the first wedding held in the church.
John and Lois lived their entire married life in St. James, MN. Lois taught Home Economics at Butterfield for three years. She retired from teaching when they adopted their first child. Three more children were adopted soon after that and in 1965 their biological daughter was born. That completed their family of five children. Lois and John were long time members of the St. James Methodist church being active in the choir, couples club, church board, mission coordinator, circle and United Methodist Women where she at one time was president. While raising their family, Lois was active in Bible School as a teacher and as Sunday School Superintendent and teacher. She was a 4-H leader for many years. She also was active in the Home Economics club, Garden Club, St. James Historical Society, Opera House Restoration, Christian Women, Bible Studies and Extension club. Both she and John were active in community activities, namely Meals on Wheels.
As their family was growing up, they would take a family trip each year so they visited many states. After the family was grown, she and John expanded their travels to Europe, Alaska, Panama, Hawaii and Canada. Lois has always been very mission minded and assembled hundreds of mission quilts, knitted baby sweaters and other mission sewing. Her beet pickles were the hit of the church bazaar. In the winter of 2013 both she and John had serious health problems which made it necessary to move from the home they had lived in since 1955 and move to the Brandt Ridge Assisted Living facility. In October, 2020, she moved to Pleasant View Nursing Home. She and John often commented on the wonderful life they had together.
Lois Ankeny, age 91, of St. James, passed away on Monday, May 2, 2022, at Pleasant View Good Samaritan Society in St. James.
Lois was preceded in death by her parents, Karl and Dorothy Gust, and her husband, John Ankeny. Lois is survived by her five children: Rick (Carol) Ankeny, Hartford, SD; Robin Ankeny, Lengby, MN; Ron Ankeny, Mahnomen, MN; Risa Carlson (Dave Wheeler), Elmwood, WI; Rachel (Jake) Johnson, Akeley, MN; six grandchildren: Shawn (Brooke) Ankeny, Miranda (Chris) Jacobs, Jamison, Jakob and Rianna Carlson, and Gabby Klicker; six great grandchildren: Jaiden, Liberty and Evelyn Jacobs, A’vayah Yost and Austin Klicker and MJ Ankeny, as well as many nieces and nephews.