Anna Mae Gjengdahl, 88, of Lansing, Kansas died at the Kansas City Hospice
House, Kansas City Missouri on Sunday, November 4, 2012. Anna Mae (Rushing) Gjengdahl was born at home in West Marion Township, Williamson County, Illinois on September 25, 1924 to her parents Dolph Clarence Rushing and Kate (Sutton) Rushing.
While growing up, she was a member of Little Flock Primitive Baptist Church of Ozark, Illinois and was baptized on March 30, 1947 at the Post Chapel at Fort Knox, Kentucky with her first daughter, Karen. She was received as a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Leavenworth, Kansas on July 7, 1957.
Her early years were spent helping her parents raise apples and peaches in the family orchard. For the rest of her life she seldom ate anything made from apples, but her apple pies were the highlight of her family dinners. Her ties to Southern Illinois and the values she learned there remained strong for her whole life.
She graduated from New Burnside (Consolidated) High School in 1941 and from Vienna Township High School, in Vienna, Illinois in 1942. Following her graduation she worked as a clerk for the American Insurance Company in St. Louis, and a few months later she transferred to the U.S. Federal Civil Service at the Munitions Building in St. Louis. In early 1944 she volunteered to become a casualty affairs clerk-typist in the new Pentagon Building and arrived in Washington, D.C. on May 1, 1944. She worked in the Army Air Corps typing letters to family members to notify them of the loss of their sons in combat, including a member of her own high school graduating class. As the war wound down, she transferred back to St. Louis and became the Commander's secretary in a Military Police Company at Jefferson Barracks where she met her future husband.
Anna and Ken Gjengdahl were married on April 4, 1946 at Messiah Lutheran Church in St. Louis, Missouri. Their marriage was a 64-year romance that started when they met at Jefferson Barracks in 1945 when he returned from combat in North Africa and Italy.
After the birth of their first two daughters in Ft. Knox, Kentucky, Anna and
Ken made their home in Leavenworth and Lansing Kansas from 1948 until the present.
Anna always took hospitality very seriously; her kindness to guests was the hallmark of her home. She was always well-acquainted with her neighbors and the members of her church; she shared their joys and hardships and lent a helping hand whenever she was needed. Her third daughter, Jo Ann, was born after the move to Leavenworth and the family lived many years on North 9th St. before she found her house in Lansing and moved there in 1967. To help put her daughters through college she worked first at Whitaker's Office Supply and then in the catalog sales department at Penney's. She was always active; her house and yard were showplaces. She had a gift for color and design and filled her home with her ideas after her husband translated them into reality. Even her evenings were active. She was an accomplished quilter and decorated her bedrooms with quilts, coverlets, and pillows using patchwork, cathedral window pane, and French knot designs.
Page 2 of 2 - She was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth Alvin Gjengdahl, her sister, Mary Elizabeth (Rushing) Robertson; her brother, Bobby Lee Rushing; and one daughter, Jo Ann Gjengdahl. She is survived by two daughters, Karen Rae Strohm and her husband David August Strohm of Overland Park, Kansas, and Nancy Lynn Wanamaker and her husband Gary Lue Wanamaker of Elkhorn, Nebraska; six grandchildren, Christine Gjengdahl Strohm, Brian Jacob Wanamaker, David Christian Strohm, Bethany Diane (Wanamaker) Hahn, Lori Ann (Wanamaker) Plummer, and Carrie Elizabeth (Wanamaker) Gold; and eight great-grandchildren, Cole Dylan Miller, Abigail Lynn Hahn, Grantham Kelly Plummer, Judah Nolan Plummer, Kalvin Fletcher Hahn, Isaac Ryan Hahn, August Jioo Strohm, and Christian Jian Strohm. She was eagerly anticipating the birth of another great-grandson to Carrie and Avram Gold in December.
She went peacefully to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. She lived a life wrapped in the love of Jesus. She would have us remember one thing: know Jesus; live, walk, trust, and rest in Him. Her family cherishes the memories of her faithful love for all, which was rooted in Jesus' faithful love for her. "Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord" Psalm 31:24
Visitation will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Thursday, November 8, 2012 at St. Paul Lutheran Church. The funeral service will be held at 9:00 a.m. Friday, November 9, 2012 at the church. Pastor Ed Mease will officiate. Interment will follow at the Leavenworth National Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be given to St. Paul Lutheran Church, Catholic Charities of Leavenworth, or Mosaic of Beatrice, Nebraska.