Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Whitman County Gazette 

Eileen Ankerson

August 2, 1923 - April 5, 2021


April 15, 2021

Eileen Ankerson, 97, a beloved angel on earth went home to God on April 5, 2021. Eileen was born in Colton, Wash., on August 2, 1923, where she was raised on the family farm. Family was an integral part of her life, extending her family with friends and honorary grandchildren and sons to add to her ever-growing family of love and faith. Eileen had a heart filled with love, a listening ear for anyone needing it, and a faith that instilled a desire for God’s love to all she touched. She lived 97 years independently and maintained an acute acumen right up to her passing. Her continuous love of everyone lives on!

Eileen was noted for her beautiful roses and vegetable gardens for canning, exquisite cinnamon and orange rolls, peanut butter bars and German Mitershon (among the many favorites). Cookies and breakfast rolls were always available for anyone visiting. Her beautiful crocheted baby blankets are treasures for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Living during the depression, Eileen learned a strong work ethic which she instilled in her family. Traveling, working as an accomplished librarian at Colton Library, being involved in church activities (Catholic Daughters, Altar Society), volunteering for Hospice for 14 years, being an ace card player, were all among her passions in life. She was an active community member in the Grange, Elks, and Johnson Union Warehouse. Eileen loved to travel, visiting Australia for her grandson’s wedding, Hawaii, traveling around the States, cruising Alaska, as well as a summer tour of Germany, Switzerland, France, and Italy where she visited Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto.

Eileen attended Colton High School and upon graduation was employed at Washington Water Power in Spokane, Wash. She later moved with her sister, Lorraine Semler, to Oakland, Calif., to be near her fiancé, Edward C. Ankerson where he was stationed in the Army. She met Ed when he visited from Spokane, Wash., working on a family farm in the summer near Colton. When Eileen met Ed he would rush to open the gate between the farms as soon as he saw her on the road, and when he was hunting “dear”! She worked in Oakland until Ed’s discharge from the Army. Eileen moved back to Colton and the two were married at St. Gall’s Catholic Church on April 3, 1945. After Ed’s death, Eileen moved to Pullman and she spent 27 years there where she joined Sacred Heart Church.

Ed and Eileen began their life together in Colton where they farmed the land and raised six children, JoAnn (preceded in death), Helen, John, Mary Pat, Rita and Frank. Eileen is survived by 15 grandchildren, and 23, soon to be 24, great-grandchildren, who hold their grandma deep in their heart and are so grateful for all the love and support she has given them. Preceding her in death were her parents, JR and Minnie Semler; brothers and sisters, Lorraine, Cletus, Robert, and Edith, and one sister, Ora Mae, living in Florida.

A memorial service to celebrate Eileen’s life will be planned for a later date. A private family funeral mass will be celebrated on Friday, April 9th at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pullman at 3:30 PM. Everyone is invited to join the live stream by going to http://www.sacredheartpullman.org. Kimball Funeral Home of Pullman, Wash., has been entrusted with arrangements.

Donations can be made to St, Jude’s, Kindred Hospice. The family would like to publicly thank Hospice, Dr. Stephanie Fosbach and her medical team, especially Cheryl, and Regency for their care and love of our mother.

Online condolences may be sent to http://www.kimballfh.com.


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