It is with sadness and sorrow that we announce the passing of Ruth Melanie Hengst on February 17th 2021 at the age of 92 in Drumheller, Alberta.
Ruth was born in Ottenhausen Thüringen Germany on December 15th 1928 to Herman and Anna Raschke. She grew up on an estate in Mecklenburg, Quasliner Hof. She had many stories to tell about her childhood and youth. The estate got annexed after the war in 1948 and the family was forced to move to Rostock. She didn't like the East German regime so in 1952 she escaped to West Germany which was very scary for her. She made it safely to West Berlin but Berlin was taking no more refugees, so she was flown to a refugee camp in Lager Hammelburg. There she met her Husband Alex Hengst. They were married in 1953 and settled in Pfaffenhausen, Unterfranken where they built their house and raised their four children. She worked as a receptionist from 1963-1980.
In 1988 Alex decided to move to Canada to be closer to their youngest daughter Martina, and while Ruth would have preferred going back to Mecklenburg, the reunification of East and West Germany came too late. They settled in Sunnynook, Alberta where she and Alex created a little oasis. They built a new home and planted many trees which now surround the house. The Alberta prairies reminded her of her home in Germany with the wide-open spaces and sparse population. She was a homebody with a passion for her flower garden and houseplants. The people most important to her were her children and grandchildren many of which she helped to raise. Having Martina's children Timmy and Melanie close by helped keep her young. Up to 5 years ago she traveled regularly to Germany and Jordan to see family. She dreaded the long flights but was always happy to come back to her home in Canada.
In 2020 her health was failing and she had to move to Hillview Lodge in Drumheller. She always said it's not as nice as my home and I will never be completely happy but I am content. The staff spoiled her there even with the language barrier.
She overcame a lot of obstacles in her life which made her resilient and stubborn, right to the end. She was such a big part of everybody’s life. She will be missed.
Ruth was predeceased by her husband of 48 years Alex Hengst (1927-2001), her son-in-law Mohammed Hijazi and sister Gertrud Gurstadt. She is survived by her children Birgit Hijazi, Uwe Hengst (Elizabeth), Joachim Hengst (Martina) Martina Baumgartner (Bob). She was Oma to her 10 grandchildren Ashraf, Jasmin, Amal, Munier, Andreas, Bettina, Christoph, Johanna, Timmy and Melanie as well as her 14 great grandchildren.
Our family would like to thank the hospital staff DR Mateer and Dr. Dayo as well as the wonderful staff at Hillview Lodge for the excellent care she received. There will be a private celebration of life at a later date.