Bruce E. Ankeny, 74, of Nampa, Idaho, went home to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on October 2, 2021. Bruce was born April 22,1947 in Caldwell, Idaho to Morris and Maxine Ankeny. He grew up on a family farm in the Greenleaf area, attending country elementary schools and enjoying farm life. Always interested in agriculture, he was on the morning family milk crew, raised and showed his own cows, and as a terrific storyteller, he shared countless precious memories of family and farm life. As a high school student, he attended Greenleaf Friends Academy and excelled at athletics, particularly football, basketball, and track. He continued his education and earned his bachelor’s degree at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon. While at George Fox, he played football and baseball for the Bruins and relished every minute. While playing football, a Bruin cheerleader caught his eye, Greta Edwards. In 1968, Bruce married Greta, which began their 53 yearlong marriage. After graduating from George Fox, they moved up to Moscow, where he earned his master’s degree at University of Idaho and solidified his deep commitment to Vandal football. After graduation, Bruce and Greta got their first teaching jobs in Grangeville, Idaho, an experience, and place which captured both of their hearts. However, Bruce’s love for Greenleaf Friends Academy brought them back to the Treasure Valley, where Bruce taught and coached at Greenleaf Friends Academy for several years. Coaching and working with young adults was a theme throughout Bruce’s life, as he had a knack for believing in people and encouraging them to step out and challenge themselves. Since teaching, he has been self-employed in a variety of occupations, from home improvement businesses to sales. For the past several decades he found great fulfillment in raising Dorset sheep and Lowline cattle, which enabled him to live and breathe the agriculture life that he loved so deeply. Having a keen eye for specific livestock characteristic, he worked to develop productive and efficient livestock in both his cattle and sheep, which he coined “Blue Collar Genetics”. Through his years in livestock, he formed many great friendships throughout the nation, which were very significant in his life. Bruce never new a stranger and connected with people from many walks of life. He also took every opportunity he was given to tell people about Jesus, from a farm hand to a cattle buyer, he was a farming-evangelist at heart, who could often be heard whistling or singing hymns as he worked. Bruce and Greta had two children, Corey and Christi. Especially significant to him, were the years raising children and family life. He was active in athletics, coaching many years of youth baseball and basketball for both kids. In recent years, Bruce had trouble with his right shoulder, and we are fairly confident he ruined his shoulder pitching countless hours of batting practice to Corey. Bruce enjoyed taking his family on summer adventures, where his goal was to explore a new fork of some lesser-known river in Idaho, completely off the beaten path. He was a lover of maps and knew his beloved state of Idaho like the back of his hand. Bruce and Greta were a great parenting team, always engaged with church activities, education, sports, farm adventures, and family life. A family evening was never complete without a batch of Bruce’s famous stovetop popcorn, popped and salted to perfection. Bruce took great delight and pride in his nine grandchildren and brought them along on countless adventures. He taught them about rural life, God’s faithfulness, laughter, hard work, homemade milkshakes, and enjoyed every little thing about his grandkids. One of the valuable gifts Bruce gave those close to him, was his creative energy, confidence, and ideas. He was always thinking about those close to him and thinking of ways to problem solve any issues they were up against, from jobs to sports to house remodels. If you were on the receiving end of any advice or idea, it was because he cared about you, and you were on his mind! Bruce and Greta celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary in August with a lakeside family retreat in McCall, surrounded by Corey and his wife Rachael, Christi, and her husband Jared, and their nine grandchildren. Together, Bruce and Greta have enjoyed rural life, church fellowship, dear friends, Vandal football, laughter, traveling, and the road less traveled. Bruce was constantly thankful for the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness to his family, and blessed to know his wife, his children and their spouses, and grandchildren are all walking with the Lord.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Greta, and two children: Corey (Racheal) Ankeny and Christi (Jared) Jensen. He was blessed with 9 grandchildren: Esther, Lillia, Leyton, Isaac, Evie, Eleanor, Cora, Asa and Elias. He is also survived by his siblings; Myron Ankeny, Devonne Hibbs and Beverly Chapman. He was preceded in death by his parents, Morris and Maxine Ankeny, and brother, Dennis Ankeny
A viewing will take place Friday, October 15 from 6-8 pm at the Nampa Funeral Home, Nampa, Idaho. A service will be held Saturday, October 16 at 2:00 pm at Nampa First Church of the Nazarene, 601 16th Ave. So.
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