Juanita “Nita” Ruth Ankenbruck, 86, of Pearland, passed away peacefully with her children by her side on Friday, October 11th, 2019. She was born on January 22, 1933 to her parents, Gus and Ruth Freitag in Houston, Texas and was one of eight children.
She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 46 years, Joseph Ankenbruck, Sr., daughter, Patti Powell and siblings; Gus Freitag, Ellis Freitag, Jean Stone and Jane Ford.
Nita is survived by her children; son, Joseph Ankenbruck, Jr. and wife Candace of Pearland, daughters; Shelly Durst of Katy, Lisa Frey and husband Barney of Pearland, Cindy Collier and husband Keith of Friendswood, Lori Lott-McCue and husband Mike of Friendswood, Kay Petersen and husband John of Arlington, Grandchildren; Josh Frey (Krystal), Mandy Saenz (Pete), Jenna Kervin (Jason), Tessa Drab (Jonathan), Amy Collins (Shawn) Kyle Durst (Sarah), Brandon Collier (Michelle), Ryan Powell (Ashley), Katy Durst (Matt), Travis Frey (Rachel), Kimberly Hoff (Stephen), Chelsea Lott, Hannah Lott, Elizabeth Gardocki (Jonathan), Krissa Powell (Tyler), Kylee McCue, Landry Petersen, Delaney Petersen, Joey Petersen and Mia Petersen, siblings; Evelyn Harrison of Texas City, Gilbert Freitag and wife Virginia of Houston, Greg Freitag and wife Doris of Texas City, 11 great-grandchildren, and a multitude of nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family members and friends.
In 1968 she moved with her family to Pearland where she has resided for the last 51 years. Her greatest joy in life was being a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Outside of her family, Nita was also involved in many activities and organizations that kept her life busy and fulfilled until her final days. She was an active member of St. Helen Catholic Church where she dedicated her time providing lunches for the Day of Prayer participants as well as feeding the parish priests. She was also a member of The Catholic Daughters for over 60 years, Altar Society, Eucharistic Ministry, Funeral Meals Chairman and Meals on Wheels for 25 plus years.
When Nita wasn’t serving others, she could most likely be found at home working in her favorite place, her backyard. She found peace and serenity there and had a passion for gardening and keeping her yard immaculate. She was a woman of many trades and talents that included cooking, baking, and sewing and could whip up any breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert on demand without a thought or need to run to the grocery store. Her kitchen was stocked as well as any HEB in town.
It is no secret that she was an avid sports fan and loved her Houston teams, especially her Astros. In 2018, her grandchildren purchased her very own commemorative brick and it was laid at the entrance of Minute Maid Park. It reads: “Nan loves her Stros like she loves her grandkids!” and that could not be more true.
To know Nita was to love her. She will be missed by all, but her memory will live on in us all forever.
A visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 with a Rosary beginning at 6:30 p.m. at St Helen Catholic Church in Pearland. The Church is located at 2209 Old Alvin Road, Pearland, TX 77581. A funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Helen Catholic Church with Rev. Jim Courville officiating. A graveside service will immediately follow at Forest Park Lawndale in Houston, Texas.
Following the graveside service, the family would like to invite friends back to the church for a lunch reception at Helena Hall, 2209 Old Alvin Road, Pearland, TX 77581.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Nita’s name to St. Helen Catholic Church.