Ann Keener Gingrich, 81, passed away Friday evening at her home.
She was born April 15, 1931, in Little Britain, Pa., to Clayton and Martha (Gish) Keener. She married Paul Musser Gingrich Aug. 11, 1951, in Mechanic Grove, Pa. He survives.
Also surviving are four sons, Larry P. (Sheila Kline) Gingrich, Birdsboro, Pa.; J. Robert (Joyce) Hooley-Gingrich, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Africa; Jon L. (Rita) Gingrich, Goshen, and Michael L. (Bonnie) Gingrich, Elkhart; a daughter, Lynda (Brent) Troyer, South Bend; a son-in-law, Tim (Candy) Cleary, Williamsburg, Va.; a daughter-in-law, Pam Dintaman, Ariz.; three sisters, Barbara (Harold) Shenk, Lancaster, Pa.; Betty (John) Drescher, Quakertown, Pa., and Marie (E. Daniel) Riehl, Lancaster, Pa.; a brother-in-law, Rohrer (Mabel) Eshleman, Lancaster, Pa.; and 10 grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by a daughter, Bonnie Gingrich Cleary, Aug. 9, 1992; a sister, Ellen Eshelman; and a brother, Robert Keener.
A 1948 graduate of Lancaster Mennonite High School, Lancaster, Pa., Ann attended Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Va., in 1952. She attended Hartford Seminary Foundation, Hartford, Conn., from 1958-59. In 1971 she received her BA in secondary education from Goshen College and in 1987 her MA in Theology and Ethics from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS), Elkhart. She attended Selly Oak College, Birmingham, United Kingdom, in 1991.
She taught grades 1-8 at Brick Hill Elementary school from 1950-51. Along with her husband, Paul, she served as a missionary, teacher and counselor in Ethiopia and Kenya from 1954-69. She opened and operated a guesthouse in Nairobi from 1964-65. From 1971-75 she worked as a substitute teacher in the Goshen and Middlebury schools and in 1976 she taught at Goshen College Laboratory Kindergarten. In 1976-77 she served as co-director of Goshen College’s Study Service Trimester program in Belize, Central America, and from 1976-1982 she helped Goshen College with exit interviews and retention study. Ann worked at the Mennonite Historical Library from 1981-1982, before serving as Pastoral Counselor at AMBS from 1983-90. In 1994-97 she and Paul served as Peace Evangelists for Mennonite Church USA and most recently were serving as overseers for College Mennonite Church. Ann and Paul were recognized by Eastern Mennonite University and Seminary with the 1993 “Distinguished Service Award” in recognition of their lifetime of service. In 2005, AMBS honored Ann with the “Alumni Ministry and Service Award.” This was given in honor of her work with victims of abuse.
An active member of Belmont Mennonite Church, Ann facilitated worship leading, sexual abuse survivor groups and did some occasional preaching. She also served on the Mennonite Stewardship Commission, the Personnel Committee of Mennonite Board of Missions and led retreats on marriage and family, women’s issues and human sexuality in addition to serving as a resource person for Intentional Communities and Christian growth groups. From 1974-91 she was involved with Assembly Mennonite Church as a pastoral counselor, elder, worship leader, trustee and occasional preacher.
Her hobbies included reading, gardening, home decorating, scrap booking, women’s empowerment and her grandchildren.
Friends may call from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Yoder-Culp Funeral Home, Goshen, and one hour prior to the 11 a.m. funeral service Saturday at Belmont Mennonite Church, Elkhart. The Revs. Larry Rohrer and Amanda Yoder will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to AMBS or Goshen Care at Home Hospice.
Online condolences may be sent to www.yoderculpfuneralhome.com.