Hilda Anne Rule

July 19, 1940January 30, 2021
Play Tribute Movie

Anne Rule, age 80, of Grandview, MO passed into the presence of Jesus and her glorious new home in Heaven on January 30, 2021 surrounded by the love of her husband Rod and family. Despite nearly losing her life as a young wife and mother in her mid-20’s and living with diabetes as a result, she was blessed with 55 more years of good health and enjoyed nurturing not only her children but also her grandchildren into adulthood. Rod and Anne celebrated 59 years of marriage and a full 60 years in love.

Hilda Anna Plenge was born on July 19, 1940 to Willy F. Plenge and Marie Dorothea (Von Thaden) Plenge in Brooklyn, NY, the third of five children. Her arrival was a special joy and comfort to her parents, who had lost their first daughter as a small child the previous year. She loved and valued her family and her upbringing in the German neighborhood of Glendale in Queens and never lost her NYC accent. She was confirmed at age 13 in a German Lutheran church and gave her heart to Jesus at a Billy Graham crusade the summer she turned 17. That decision profoundly impacted the direction of her life.

Anne met Rod, the love of her life, as the maid of honor at a wedding he was unexpectedly asked to perform, filling in at the last minute for another pastor. Their unlikely meeting had to be divine providence because Rod and Anne were married a year later on November 11, 1961. Together they embarked on a journey of faith sharing both joys and sorrows along the way from New York City to the small town of South Butler, then from Niagara Falls to Kansas City in 1969 and finally to a beautiful home in Grandview in 2001 where they enjoyed 20 years of retirement together with gatherings of family, neighbors, and friends.

Along this journey, Anne was a devoted wife and mother, grandmother, daughter, sister and friend, pastor’s wife ministering alongside her husband, homemaker, child caregiver in her home, seasonal worker at IRS, and part of the church family of Central Church in Grandview which she valued so much. No matter whose life she touched, it was always with kindness and care. Her life radiated the Lord’s sweet presence in her heart. Anne means “gracious one” and her heart’s inclination was to believe and hope the best in people. Her greatest gifts, shared with family and friends alike, were to love selflessly and to listen, to encourage and to uplift others in her words, her actions, and in fervent prayers. Her life was to love the Lord and to love others in her unassuming, welcoming, and gentle way.

Anne is preceded in Heaven by her parents, Willy and Marie Plenge and her sister Hildegard Plenge. She is survived by her husband Rod Rule of Grandview, MO; four daughters who carry her name and her heart: Laura-Ann (Bruce) Inwards of Kansas City, MO, Ruth Anne (Jim) Elo of Belton, MO, Janet Joanne (Dave) Seyfried of Grandview, MO, and Carole Ann (Chris) Rule Gannaway of Waco, TX; 7 grandchildren: Jarrod (Angel) Elo, Joanna Inwards, Anna (David) Riley, Julie Anne (Khalid) Mansouri, Seth Elo, Laurie Ann Inwards, Hayden Gannaway; and 2 great-grandchildren: Malachi Elo and Nayvah Elo; siblings Bill (Marianne) Plenge of Tilton, NH, Fred Plenge of Beaumont, CA, and Linda (Lyle) Rowe of Lexington, VA, and 8 nieces.

While Anne’s body weakened due to unsuspected illness, her spirit, passion and faith only increased in strength, and she maintained her hope and trust in the Lord. A favorite verse by her lampstand was: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13) This would be her parting prayer for all those her heart has touched until we joyfully meet again.

May God bless the memory of Anne Rule, the legacy of faith and love she leaves to her family and those who knew and loved her. A Celebration of Life service will be held for Anne at Central Church in Grandview, MO on July 24, 2021 (the week of her birthday).


  • Celebration of Life Service

    Saturday, July 24, 2021


Hilda Anne Rule

have a memory or condolence to add?

Becky Garcia

July 24, 2021

Aunt Anne wasn’t really our aunt but somehow God knit together the hearts of the Rules and the Reeds many years ago. Aunt Anne was a woman who didn’t need a lot of words. She just daily lived her faith. She had a quiet and gentle spirit. Surely she must have been “ruffled” at times but I never saw it! Her sweet smile radiated peace to those around her. She will be greatly missed by all those who knew her, but we rejoice with her for a race well run, knowing that when she opened her eyes on the other side she heard the words, “Well done good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord. “. Congratulations, Aunt Anne!

Chris Gannaway

July 18, 2021

I have not had the honor of knowing my mother-in-law for many decades, but I have known her for over 3 years. Ever since our first meeting in November of 2017, I have felt nothing but love and acceptance from her.

As one of the newest members of her family, I did not have the opportunity to know her a long time, but the time that I did have with her, I will cherish forever.

Thank you for accepting and loving me as your son-in-law. You will be missed and always remembered.

Till we meet again!

Sharon Kinder

June 14, 2021

What do I say about Anne that most people that knew her don't already know? I will share what I know and experienced personally. She was a beautiful lady. Not just physically, although she was. She was a beautiful soul with a beautiful spirit. I'm sure it was because she had long before I met her, had surrendered her heart to Jesus and the Holy Spirit abided in her life. You could see and feel the joy Anne had and so willingly shared with those around her. From the many pictures of Anne, rare is one without her beautiful smile. I can see that in my mind's eye and hear the laughter that rings with it. She had true JOY!

I will always remember the first time I met Anne. She had not yet visited Central, but her daughter and husband had. We had made a house call on them. Anne was down because of a surgery to a broken leg, but her spirit was not down! I felt an instant connection to her and in talking to her later she had to me. That was the start of a wonderful friendship! We teased and joked many times over the years about what Pastor's wives should and should not know. I lovingly teased her about me being her "favorite" daughter. She was to me a mother, sister in Christ, fellow laborer for the Kingdom, but most of all she was my friend. I rejoice in having known her and wait for the day she wraps her arms around me in the warm hugs I knew and loved and shows me around our heavenly home.

Alan Kinder

June 14, 2021

My best memories of Anne are simple; her smile and her words of encouragement to me. So often, after a message I would preach, Anne would be the one who would comment about it, and it was always positive. She would smile, a gleam of true joy in her eyes, and tell me how she felt that the Lord was getting ready to move in a powerful way and that He would use messages like the one I had preached to make it happen. I still have an index card in my desk with a verse of Scripture she wrote to me: Galatians 6:9 (ESV) ~ And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. She was a true sister in the Lord, and will be greatly missed.

Margaret Starnes

May 28, 2021

When I think about my friend Anne, I remember all the times she encouraged me. She had so many things about her that just made you feel better after being around her.

Her smile was one. I don’t ever remember her frowning or being upset about anything. She was always upbeat and positive, always saying that she knew the Lord was working in whatever in her life and whatever seemed to be a problem. We both dealt with physical problems and she just knew the Lord was and would continue to help us through difficult times. Of course, her great hugs always helped also.

Her quiet demeanor was another way she blessed others. You just knew when talking with her that she had a special relationship with the Lord. Her faith was strong and she wasn’t hesitant or afraid to share it with others.

Her love for Rod and all her family was so evident when being around her. She loved her girls and their families. She felt very blessed and she shared that with me many times. Larry and I continue to pray for Rod and the family as you deal with the great pain of Anne’s passing.

We so look forward to seeing Anne again in Heaven some glorious day.

Norma Shillito

May 27, 2021

The most non-judgmental human being l have ever met, as well as being a funny and wonderful friend. And to my brother she was "Wilt Chamberlain" his favorite of all my girlfriends. Eighty years is not enough! Keep smiling!

Rosalind Harrington

May 12, 2021

I have so many precious memories of my dear friend Anne. She was my great prayer warrior. We shared the love of our Lord, family and America. We were blessed to worship together at church. She was a quiet lady, but her sweet smile and kindness touched everyone she met.

We had a special Bible verse we had learned growing up in churches many miles apart: Numbers 7:24, 25, 26.

My prayers for her dear husband, Rod and precious children. Her sweet presence is so missed. I will forever be thankful my God allowed my dear friend, Anne Rule, to be a part of my life.

Joel and Naomi McGill

April 17, 2021

Our dear Anne was always such a bright spot on Sunday mornings at church! Always smiling, always ready to offer a hug, an encouragement, and a listening ear. Church life won’t be the same without her, and we will so dearly miss her. What a beautiful counterpart to Rod she was, and we have been praying for comfort for him with this big life change. Her life was a wonderful testimony to the love of God and we so look forward to reuniting in heaven together one wonderful day.

Shirley Bowden

March 13, 2021

Edwin and I have so many sweet memories of Anne. We loved hearing her share on Sunday mornings what God had been doing in her life that week. She had the sweetest smiles and you know that was from within with her love for God and her family.

She had the best hugs and you knew it was a real hug and love!

She taught a ladies Bible Study and I loved hearing what she was teaching. She had studied, prayed and was ready to share what God placed on her heart.

We miss you Anne but know this distance is not forever as one day we will meet you in Heaven.

Amy Bullard

March 13, 2021

Even though we weren't blood relations, Anne Rule was always Aunt Anne to my siblings and to me. The 2 biggest things that will always remain in my memory of her is her smile and her kindness. What greater gifts could someone give this world than to offer warmth and kindness? Aunt Anne had a gentleness and sweetness about her which radiated through her smile. It was easy to feel acceptance and love from that smile.

Even though she was the quiet one of her relationship with Uncle Rod, I always sensed such strength and could easily imagine that she indeed was the "wind beneath his wings."

We haven't seen each other for years, but I know that this world and the Rule family has indeed lost a very bright and warm light from the lack of her presence. I am so thankful that I was blessed to have had her "across the miles" as my Aunt Anne.


Anne and Rod, special month of July 2020 (granddaughter Julie's wedding and celebrating her 80th birthday)


Hilda Anna, blue-eyed and blonde as a toddler


Lutheran confirmation picture at age 13


The newlyweds, November 11, 1961


First family portrait in Kansas City, spring of 1970


Enjoying a visit with brother Fred and his wife Debbie from CA out on the patio


With cherished church family at Central Church in Grandview (couples married 50+)


Enjoying the company of those she loves both in person and by phone


Rule family portrait in December 2019 - four generations