Ruth M. Shenk Hertzler


Ruth M. (Harnish) Shenk Hertzler, 81, died May 25, 2023, at Landis Homes, Lititz, Pa.

Born Feb. 21, 1942, she was the daughter of Clarence Hess Harnish and Esther Herr (Miller) Harnish of West Lampeter Township. She was the wife of Donald E. Hertzler for almost 13 years.

She graduated from Lancaster Mennonite School in 1960 and then attended Lancaster School of Practical Nursing, where she received her Licensed Practical Nursing degree. From there she worked for Voluntary Service in New York City as an LPN at the Rusk Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She attended Eastern Mennonite College and graduated with her BSN in 1970.

In 1966 she married Gerald Landis Shenk. They had 32 years of marriage in Lebanon, Pa., enjoying country living on a small farm and raising their daughter. She worked part time as an RN at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Lebanon for 25 years. She enjoyed gardening and painting. During those years she was an active member at Annville Church of the Brethren.

Several years after Jerry’s death, she moved to Ephrata, Pa., where she volunteered at Landis Homes and Mennonite Central Committee. During these years she became reacquainted with an old friend, Donald Hertzler. They married in June 2010. They enjoyed bike riding and time with their grandchildren. They became members of Akron Mennonite Church. As Ruth’s Parkinson’s progressed, they moved to a cottage at Landis Homes in 2019.

In addition to her husband, Don, she is survived by a daughter, Melanie Ehst (Jeremy); three grandchildren; Don’s children, Barry Hertzler (Delores), Jerry Hertzler (Lisa) and Sandy Byler (Kevin); Don’s seven grandchildren and five great-granddaughters; and her brothers David M. Harnish (Florence) and John M. Harnish (Evelyn).

She was preceded in death by her first husband, Gerald L. Shenk; sister Rachel M. Hershey (Floyd) and brother Paul M. Harnish (Dorothy).

Memorial contributions may be made to Akron Mennonite Church or MCC.

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