Ruth Solvang Henk, wife of the late Rev. Wallace Henk, passed into the presence of her Lord on May 25th. Ruth was born to Norwegian immigrant parents in Minnesota in 1922, attended Bethel College and the University of Minnesota, and in 1952 she accompanied her husband as a missionary to a remote rural area of the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of Congo.) She and her husband ministered in the Congo for 20 years, living through war, rebellion, and political turbulence until ill health forced them to return to the United States in 1969. Ruth then worked at Hazelden Treatment Center, did substitute teaching, and served as a pastor’s wife in North Branch, Minnesota, until she and her husband retired from full-time ministry in 1987 when they moved to Auburn to be near members of their growing family. Until their deaths, both Ruth and her husband Wally were active members of Trinity United Methodist Church. Ruth also led ladies’ Bible fellowships in her home for members of the local Asian community.
When Ruth looked back over her life, her one comment on that life was “God’s amazing grace.” She gave her heart to Christ at age 12 but had loved the Lord since she was a small child.
She is survived by two daughters, Mary (Walter) Turnbull and Martha Henk of Auburn, two sons, Dan (Eva) Henk of Tryon, North Carolina, and John (Mary Jo) Henk of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, 12 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. The glory of God shone through her life, and her children, many friends, and those she mentored over the years “rise up and call her blessed” (Proverbs 31:28.)
The family will have a private celebration of life to honor the life well lived of Ruth Henk with Rev. Earl Ballard officiating.
In lieu of flowers and in keeping with her love for missions, memorial gifts may be made in Ruth’s memory to:
Presbyterian Community Ministry (PCM)
143 E. Thach Ave.
Auburn, Alabama 36830
The Food Bank of East Alabama
355 Industry Drive
Auburn, Alabama 36832