Ruth S. Engelken

July 20, 1922May 13, 2018

Ruth Simpson Engelken, 95 of Hillsdale, New Jersey passed away May 13th, 2018 peacefully at home with her loving family and friends nearby. Ruth was born in Paterson, New Jersey before moving to Hawthorne at age 3 and graduating from Hawthorne High School in 1940. She met her husband, Frederick E. Engelken, at Paterson State Teachers College (now William Paterson) and the two married on April 20, 1944. Lieutenant JG Engelken, serving on an LCI in the US Navy, left for active duty in the Pacific weeks later. Ruth graduated from Paterson State in 1944 with a BA in Business Education. Her first teaching position was teaching business education at Fairlawn High School. In 1951, Ruth and Fred moved to Hillsdale to raise a family with Fred teaching at Westwood High School. Ruth continued her career in education teaching kindergarten at Zion Lutheran School in Westwood, New Jersey from 1961 to 1977. Along with her husband and other service minded parishioners at Zion, she was instrumental in helping to start the organization’s Homebound Ministry program. Ruth loved the beach, birding, swimming and her family. She is survived by her husband of 74 years Frederick E. Engelken of Hillsdale as well as her eldest son Cort Engelken and his wife Lorraine Chouinard of Nanuet, New York and their children Peter, Alison, Ben and Julian, and her youngest son Blair Engelken of Southern Shores, North Carolina and Grandchildren Molly, Joshua (spouse Carrie) and Kyle (spouse Mary) and 3 Great Grandchildren Clayton, Frederick and Jacob. Ruth is also survived by her many loving nieces, nephews, neighbors and friends. Friends may call at Becker Funeral Home, 219 Kinderkamack Road, Westwood, New Jersey on Thursday May 17th between 6pm and 8pm. The memorial service will be held Friday May 18th at Zion Lutheran Church, 155 Second Avenue Westwood, NJ at 1:00PM. Interment at Westwood Cemetery will immediately follow the service. Donations in Lieu of flowers would be appreciated to Zion Lutheran Church’s Homebound Ministry Program.


  • Zion Lutheran Church Homebound Ministry Program


  • Visitation Thursday, May 17, 2018
  • Funeral Service Friday, May 18, 2018
  • Interment Friday, May 18, 2018

Ruth S. Engelken

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Roberta Utenwoldt

May 16, 2018

Ruth was such a positive, loving person who was always willing to speak her mind as well as her love for the Lord. She was a perfect balance for Fred! Ruth, you are loved and missed here on earth, but there's another Saint in heaven!

Sheila Finamore

May 14, 2018

This is Sheila Finamore; I am Aunt Ruth’s niece ( her youngest sister Lois ‘s Youngest daughter) I would love to share some awesome memories of my wonderful Aunt!! I got married on their wedding Anniversary date April 20 th 1986 making that day and every anniversary to follow very special! I can only wish to be married 74 years like them! I also had the privilege to work with her in the OT/RT Department of Bergen Pines Hospital as an intern and therapist! She was the reason I became a Recreation Therapist! She was always bright and cheerful to all the patients there. My most memorable moment in the hospital was being locked in a cage-like room on the 9th floor with prisoners doing Arts & Crafts with them!! She was cool and calm but I was super nervous!! She used to help Muriel run the candy shop in the lobby and would crochet with the patients waiting for customers. My brothers and sister use to love to visit Uncle Freddie and Aunt Ruth in Hillsdale going for walks to the bandstand park around the corner while bird watching or playing stickball there! Her two sons, my cousins Cort and Blair, were supercool in the 70’s with their long hair! Also, Aunt Ruth took a special interest with my daughter Kelly and my husband Phil because they are both teachers just like her and Uncle Freddie!! She had so much patience and grace telling stories about my Mom reminiscing about “the good old days.” The Super Simpson 5 are reunited in Heaven together forvever with their parents! God Bless everyone; especially Uncle Freddie and her 2 awesome sons and their adorable grandchildren! I will miss her so much and she is our newest angel in Heaven! I will look for her peaceful signs!