Lena Merle Rucknagel, 92, of Magnolia passed away Saturday, November 19, 2022 at Wentworth Place Brown House in Magnolia.
Lena was born on June 19, 1931 in Fort Smith to the late J.N. Williams Jr. and Lena Kate (Tetrick) Williams. She was the oldest of four children. Growing up with parents owning a feed and fertilizer store, she developed a love for plants and gardening. After high school, she graduated from Texas Women’s College where she received a bachelor’s degree and became a licensed dietician. She moved to Ann Arbor, MI where she raised her children, who were the joy of her life. Later in life she received a master’s degree in social work and worked at a Veterans Hospital in Cincinnati.
Lena, being a southern lady at heart, always amazed her northern friends with her delightful cooking and beautiful gardening skills. Growing flowers and vegetables brought her peace by the work of her hands. She was always involved with her church and the love of Jesus shined through her with a servant’s heart and she knew Jesus as her Lord and Savior.
In 2005 she had the opportunity to move next door to her sister, Dona. It was a very special time for these two sisters who had lived so far apart for many years. She spent the past nine years at Wentworth Place and the family is very appreciative of the loving care that the staff at Wentworth Place provided for her.
Lena was preceded in death by her parents; son, Eric Paul Rucknagel; and brother, Charles Tetrick Williams.
She is survived by her daughter, Dawn Diane Kerwin of Tucson, AZ; daughter-in-law, Shayne Rucknagel of Hilo, HI; and her six grandchildren that brought her much delight and who kept her heart young, Olivia Almarose Kerwin of Seattle, Ruby Marie Kerwin of Tucson, Patrick Michael Kerwin of San Francisco, Marshall Rucknagel, Rachel Rucknagel, and Parker Rucknagel of Hilo; sister and brother-in-law, Dona and James Furr of Magnolia; brother and sister-in-law, J.N. and Gail Williams of Fairview, Texas; and a host of beloved nephews and nieces.
Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, November 22, 2022 at the Magnolia Memorial Park Cemetery with Bro. Roger Dunlap officiating under the direction of Lewis Funeral Home, Inc., in Magnolia.