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Paul Dennis Ankrim, 86

Paul Dennis Ankrim, 86, surrounded by his loving family, went home to be with his Heavenly Father on Saturday, December 16, 2023.
Born January 9, 1937, in Oak Hill, Ohio, Paul’s family moved to Barberton in 1950, when his father, Reverend Roy Ankrim, became the founding Pastor of the Pilgrim Holiness Church later known as Calvary Wesleyan Church.
Paul’s first job as a young man was at Marshall’s Department Store.  In 1960, he began his career at The Ohio Brass where he worked his way up to General Foreman.  In 1978, after a successful career at The Ohio Brass, Paul felt a call to the ministry and, following in his father’s footsteps, accepted the position of Senior Pastor at Calvary Wesleyan Church.  He pastored from 1978 through 1984.  In 1984, Paul went to work for Locke Insulators in Baltimore, Maryland where he was the Plant Manager until he retired in 2002.
Upon retirement, Paul and his wife, Barbara, moved to Wytheville, Virginia, where they worked hard together on their small farm raising horses and even a donkey.  In 2008, they moved to Walnut Hills, Ohio, to be closer to family and to enjoy the lifestyle of the Amish.  While in Walnut Hills, Paul and Barbara spent many years taking an undeveloped woodland and creating a beautiful park that included trails, swings, a picnic pavilion, and a small creek.  A few years ago, this park received the official Certified Wildlife Habitat designation.  What a beautiful legacy to leave for the residents of the Walnut Hills community.
Paul had a deep love for music.  In the early 1960’s, he and his lifelong friend, Okey Keefer, began traveling on the weekends singing at various camp meetings and revivals across the northeast United States.  During these early years they would at times be joined by Paul’s sister, Jean Ann, and her husband, Oris.  Many loved to hear the harmony of this gospel quartet.  In the mid 70s, Paul and Okey were joined by Paul’s children, Nancy and Dennis, and his sister, Barbie, as they formed the Paul Ankrim Singers.  The Paul Ankrim Singers traveled on the weekends singing in many churches across Ohio and Michigan.
Paul will be missed, remembered, and always deeply cherished by those who had the privilege to know and love him.  Survived by a large family, Paul leaves behind his loving wife, Barbara (Lavey) Ankrim; his children: Paul Douglas Ankrim of Barberton, Ohio, Nancy (Michael) Coffman of Orlando, Florida, Debra (Warner) Watson of Jackson, Mississippi, Dennis (Mary) Ankrim of Norton, Ohio; stepchildren:  Dawn (Ray) Durkee, of Canal Fulton, Ohio, Greg (Liz) Daly of Tyler, Texas; his sister, Barbara (Barbie) Ankrim; his best friend of 70+ years, Okey Keefer; as well as many grandchildren and great grandchildren in the Ohio area and across the Southeast.  Paul will also be missed by his trusted friend and walking partner, Daisy.
Paul was preceded in death by his parents, Rev. Roy and Freda Ankrim; his sister, Jean Ann (Oris) Metz; his daughters, Dolores (Jeannie) Ankrim Burgess and Sherri Ann Ankrim; and his stepson, Scott Daly; the mother of his children, Beverly Ankrim.
A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, should friends desire, it is requested that memorials be made to: Walnut Hills Retirement Community, P.O. Box 127, 4748 Olde Pump St., Walnut Creek, OH 44687.  Please note: “Paul Ankrim Memorial”.
Smith-Varns Funeral Home in Sugarcreek is assisting the family with arrangements.

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