Bar­bara Ranck Ashen­fel­ter of Malvern

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - OBITUARIES -

Bar­bara Ranck Ashen­fel­ter, 86, died peace­fully at home on Wed­nes­day, Novem­ber 16, 2016. Born in Le­ola at the Ranck fam­ily farm, she was the daugh­ter of the late Ma­bel Cooper and Charles Pfautz Ranck. She en­joyed an idyl­lic child­hood on the farm with her sis­ters, Nancy, Joan and Mary Lou. Bar­bara grad­u­ated from Up­per Lea­cock High School, fol­lowed by a col­lege de­gree in Home Economics from Penn State Univer­sity in 1952.

Bar­bara en­joyed a ca­reer at the Vineland Train­ing Cen­ter, The Booth School, Malvern Nurs­ery School and twenty plus years at Good Sa­mar­i­tan Day School. She was a preschool teacher, ad­mired by both her stu­dents and par­ents. Her class ros­ter was filled well in ad­vance, as par­ents re­quested this teacher who em­pha­sized courtesy, good man­ners and self-dis­ci­pline. Sto­ries of bows and curt­sies at day’s end, chil­dren hang­ing up their coats and ty­ing their own shoes are leg­endary!

Bar­bara’s ad­ven­ture as a wife and mother be­gan when she mar­ried her col­lege sweet heart, Wil­liam N. Ashen­fel­ter in 1953. She raised two ador­ing but head­strong daugh­ters, who loved and revered their mother. Bar­bara was the fam­ily’s “moral compass.” She was a tough task mas­ter when it came to the hard ques­tions in life and do­ing the “right” thing. Bar­bara lived her life by the “Golden Rule,” and in­sisted that her daugh­ters try to do the same.

Life at “Boot Road” in Malvern was filled with lots of ac­tiv­i­ties and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. There was al­ways a melee of cousins, friends, dogs, cats, horses and a hi­lar­i­ous level of mer­ri­ment and con­fu­sion. Bar­bara was a gra­cious host­ess, with an abun­dance of de­li­cious food and drink at an ever ex­pand­ing ta­ble.

Fer­ry­ing her girls to and fro to var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties, Bar­bara still man­aged to ini­ti­ate a long ca­reer of phi­lan­thropy and pub­lic ser­vice. She was in­volved in the Repub­li­can Party, Pres­i­dent of the Woman’s Ser­vice Bureau of the Up­per Main Line YMCA, Pres­i­dent of the Board of Di­rec­tors for Fam­ily Ser­vice of Ch­ester County and was in­volved for many years with Paoli Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal Aux­il­iary. Bar­bara served her com­mu­nity well, par­tic­i­pat­ing in causes to make life bet­ter for so many oth­ers.

Bar­bara’s faith in God was stead­fast, and she lived her life as a Chris­tian in the true sense of the word. She served as a Dea­con at Paoli Pres­by­te­rian Church for many years and con­tin­ued to be an ac­tive mem­ber in Bible Study and church ac­tiv­i­ties.

Bar­bara main­tained as­so­ci­a­tions with many groups in­clud­ing her col­lege soror­ity alumni group Al­pha Gamma Delta, Sec­re­tary of The Ju­nior Women’s Club of Malvern, the Penn State Nit­tany Lion Club, and Pro­gram Chair for The Free­dom Val­ley Chap­ter of Questers.

Called “friend” by many, Bar­bara was fun, gen­er­ous, kind and char­i­ta­ble in na­ture. She was an at­ten­tive lis­tener and a cir­cum­spect coun­selor. She al­ways found the best in oth­ers, and rarely if ever had an un­kind word to say about any­one. Be­cause of her con­vivial na­ture, Bar­bara en­joyed an ac­tive so­cial life play­ing golf, ten­nis and pad­dle ten­nis at Aron­imink and Her­shey’s Mill Golf Clubs. She was an avid skier un­til age 78, played bridge monthly and en­joyed her Book Club. There were many fab­u­lous trips with a big group of dear friends.

Bar­bara was pre-de­ceased by her lov­ing hus­band “Bill” in 2010, who sim­ply put, was crazy about her! She is sur­vived by her daugh­ters, Elaine Bed­narz (m. Ed­ward Lee Bed­narz) and Mary Jo Heck­man (m. Thomas S. Heck­man); sis­ters, Joan Groff and Mary Lou Lee as well as many ador­ing nieces and neph­ews, step grand­chil­dren and step great grand­chil­dren.

Fam­ily and friends are in­vited to a Me­mo­rial Ser­vice to cel­e­brate Bar­bara’s life at Paoli Pres­by­te­rian Church at 225 South Val­ley Road, Paoli, PA on Thurs­day, De­cem­ber 1, 2016 at 11:00 AM.

In lieu of flow­ers, me­mo­rial con­tri­bu­tions may be made to: National Parkin­son Foun­da­tion, 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800 Mi­ami, FL 33131 or Paoli Pres­by­te­rian Church, 225 South Val­ley Road, Paoli, PA 19301.

On­line con­do­lences may be made by vis­it­ing www. founds­fu­ner­al­home.com.

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