Leona J. Ankenman, 88, of Meridian, Idaho passed away on Tuesday, July 23, 2019, at the Treasure Valley Life Care Center in Boise, Idaho. She was born Nov. 25, 1930, Near Arapahoe, Nebraska to August and Grace Noltensmeier. In 1937, the family then moved to Nampa, Idaho, after a few different places, the family then moved to Nampa, Idaho, after a few different places, the family bought a farm on Sunny Ridge Road in Nampa. She was a proud graduate of Nampa High- Class of 1949. She started working for Mercy Hospital in Nampa, then over to Albertsons as a checker. She met Ralph Ankenman and they were married Sept 5, 1954. After a few years in town, and 2 children, they decided to buy a small 40-acre dairy fair on Victory Road. Yes, the dairy barn they built is still standing in a subdivision. That is when she got really go busy. She was a homemaker and when dad was away on national guard duty, she farmed the place, milked the cows, and took care of all the things that come with it. She became involved in the Locust Grove Grange, and two 4-H clubs; The Southside Nible fingers and Locust Grove Wranglers. Both Leona and Ralph became 4-H leaders of the wranglers. Along with this came the start of “Ankagem” with a small heard of registered Holsteins. In 1968, Came a 3rd child. The start of adding Registered Guernseys to the mix. In 1971, the folks bought a larger farm just southwest of New Plymouth. Also more involvement with the dairy industry. She was a 4-H leader of clothing and livestock and also served as a judge for clothing and the cooking. She served as chapter mom for FHA and FFA. Served as President and secretary of the Payette County Dairy Wives. In addition, she also served as the Treasure Valley Holstein Club. She was a very active member with Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Plymouth. She decided to go back to school at TVCC and get her Certified Nurses Aid, and then worked at Holy Rosary Hospital In Ontario, OR doing patient care and central supply. She also took up bowling and was on several bowling leagues in Ontario Ore and Lake Hazel Lanes. If the kids and grandkids were involved in something, she always made time to support them, including late night laundry to make sure those jeans were white again for the show the next day. While the kids were at the fair she did most of her canning. She made the best homemade ketchup. She could look at a dolly and go home and crochet it without a pattern. She also entered many clothing, needlework, and candy projects to the fair.
In her retirement, she helped Ralph with the building of pocket door business, and decided to work for Dr. Harris as his assistant, upon his retirement, she went to worked for McDonalds.
She was a very proud owner of her first registered animal- a red and white Holstein.
After the passing of Ralph, she moved in with her daughter Arlene and took up line dancing and Floral designing. She became a 5-year member of the Grange, but sadly her dementia was kicking in.
Leona was Preceded in death by her husband Ralph, sister Delores, and her parents.
She is survived by her children, Arlene of Meridian, Ed(Cindy) Nampa, Susan(Jason)Pennell of Lebanon, PA. Grandsons Don (Melissa), Phil (Jennifer) and Tim (Taryn) and Great Granddaughter Autumn, her brother Ken (Vickie) Noltensmeier. Along with many extended family members, in-laws and out-laws, and anyone in between including her Siamese cat, Kee. Leona will be inurned at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery with her husband Ralph.
A celebration of life will be held in September.
Thank you to Edgewood Springcreek Eagle Island and Treasure Valley Life Care Center for the care you sowed to mom. Chores are done, time to go to something!
To send flowers to Leona's family, please visit our floral section.