Ruth B. Hess Horning, 86, homemaker, genealogist, accomplished watercolor artist

By on March 28, 2018

Ruth B. Hess Horning, 86, of Lititz, and formerly of Denver, died peacefully on Monday, March 19, 2018 at Brethren Village.

Born in Mount Joy Township, she was the daughter of the late Clayton and Ruth Landis Hess. A homemaker, she was the loving wife of the late Leonard L. Horning, who died in 2005.

She was an active member of New Life Fellowship Church, Ephrata. Earlier in her life she taught Sunday school in the adult women’s class at Manheim Mennonite Church.

Ruth had many varied interests, including health and nutrition, history, genealogy, current events, reading and art. She did not graduate from high school, but that did not hold her back from a life long quest of learning. She was known to peruse her grandchildren’s college textbooks.

Ruth loved studying history and people groups and often said she would have enjoyed being an anthropologist. The grandchildren learned if they asked a question about the drop of gypsy blood found in the DNA test she had taken, the conversation was off and running. Ruth was an atypical Mennonite woman of her time. Instead of attending sewing circle she preferred reading about Anabaptist history and church politics.

She was an accomplished watercolor artist and took lessons for many years. Each of her children and grandchildren received a painting. A highlight was winning grand prize in the Lititz Art Show in 1995. Above all, she enjoyed socializing and good conversations. She cherished visits from family, friends, and relatives. Ruth’s children and grandchildren were the most important things in her life. She loved having five daughters and her one boy.

Surviving are five daughters: Beverly Hess of Lancaster; Janey, wife of Jim Lanza of Birdsboro; Maxi, wife of Fred Shirey of Oley; Kathleen, wife of Gary Brubaker of Lancaster; Nancy, wife of Doug Bodden of Wyomissing; a son: LaVern, husband of Patsy Horning of Morgantown; 20 grandchildren, 50 great-grandchildren; four brothers: James, husband of Helen Hess of Lititz; Thomas, husband of Janice Hess of Bethel; William, husband of Belinda Hess of Lititz; Herbert, husband of Arlene Hess of Penryn; a sister: Grace, wife of Bill Wolfgang of Pottstown; and a brother-in-law: Leon Stoltzfus of New Holland.

Preceding her in death are three grandchildren: Dustin Enck, John Enck, Colin Shirey; and a sister: Nancy Stoltzfus.

Services were held March 24 at Neffsville Mennonite Church, Lancaster. Interment was in Bowmansville Mennonite Cemetery.

Those desiring may send contributions in Ruth’s memory to The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, 300 N. LaSalle St., Suite 4300, Chicago, IL. 60602-2584.

To place a condolence online, visit BuchFuneral.com. Buch Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Lititz, handled the arrangements.

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