Welcome to the memorial page for

John Victor Ankenbruck

October 10, 1925 ~ August 21, 2017 (age 91)

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August 24, 2017

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Filbrandt Family Funeral Home

Recitation of the Rosary
August 24, 2017

7:00 PM
Filbrandt Family Funeral Home

Mass of Christian Burial
August 25, 2017

11:00 AM
St. Basil Catholic Church
513 Monroe Boulevard
South Haven, MI 49090

John Victor Ankenbruck, formerly of Palisades Park, Michigan, died Monday, August 21 at Woodland Terrace, Niles, MI.

Born October 10, 1925 in Fort Wayne, Indiana to Helen Margaret Nussbaum and Oscar Ankenbruck, he was the last surviving of their six children.

John is survived by five daughters,  Lisa Ankenbruck, of Palisades Park, MI;  Judy Ankenbruck, Ft. Wayne, IN; Anna Ankenbruck, South Haven, MI;  Eve (John) Finnessy, Granger, IN; and Carrie (Jim) Dohnal, Roselle, IL;  six grandchildren – Maya Ankenbruck, Austin, Maggie, and Elissa Finnessy, and Joshua and Rachel Dohnal, and one great grandchild - Conner, as well as a special niece – Carol Meaney-Halperin of South Bend, Indiana, and many nieces and nephews.  His wife, LaVerne (Alfoldy) Ankenbruck; son, Phillip John, and grandson, Aaron Jerome Greengard preceded him in death.

John graduated from Central Catholic High School, Ft. Wayne, in 1944 and entered the US Navy Air Corps.  Following WWII, he attended the University of Notre Dame, graduating in 1949.  John married LaVerne in 1956 and the family lived most of their lives in Ft. Wayne.  John was a writer and columnist for the Fort Wayne New-Sentinel, eventually becoming the editorial page editor.   He was named a winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1962 for a series of articles on the treatment of the mentally ill.  John is the founding editor of "Today's Catholic", the Ft. Wayne-South Bend Catholic Diocese newspaper in 1985.  John was also a historian and the author of several Fort Wayne, IN area history books including Five Forts, The Voice of the Turtle, and the 20th Century History of Ft. Wayne.  During their later years, John and LaVerne owned and operated Ankenbruck's Antiques in Albion, IN, before retiring to Palisades Park in 1996.


Visitation will be held from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Thursday, August 24, 2017 at the Filbrandt Family Funeral Home in South Haven with a Rosary service beginning at 7:00 PM. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, August 25, 2017 at the St. Basil Catholic Church in South Haven with Father Fabio Garzon officiating. John will be laid to rest in Lakeview Cemetery in South Haven. 

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