Robert (Bob) W. Rankin
September 17, 1930 – September 29, 2016
Bob died after frantic, but short treatments for a broken neck from falls caused by Agent Orange Parkinson’s Disease.
He was born in the world of steel in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, but dreamed of being a pilot after his dad took him to see the barnstormers. Bob proudly served in the U.S. Air Force as a pilot, retiring after 20 years as a Lieutenant Colonel. He was stationed in France, North Africa, Texas, Florida and California and carried “where did everybody go” bombs during the alerts for the Hungarian Revolution. While in Texas, he was a test pilot flying test tops for multiple types of aircraft. Serving in Vietnam, he flew C-123’s making assault landings and carrying needed supplies and injured soldiers. Because his bird was parked on the ramp next to the Ranch Hands who sprayed the Agent Orange chemicals, he was soaked to his knees every day with that neuro-toxin.
During his Air Force service, Bob earned a math degree through Boot Strap at the University of Nebraska in Omaha, and upon retirement earned his environmental engineering degree from Sacramento State.
It was while he was studying archeology for that degree in Flagstaff, Arizona that he met his wife and best friend of 41 years, Terry. Bob spent the rest of his life supporting her studies and life as a lawyer, insurance commissioner and judge.
Bob was known for his intelligence and wit, entertaining the Reno Jaguar Club with his cartoon drawings and jokes. He worked on and restored multiple Triumphs and Jaguars. He loved the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pink Floyd and Fleetwood Mac, his FreeCell games, hiking, rock hounding, fishing, camping and hanging out at the cabin, or the Cutthroat Saloon in Markleeville. The hills and trees of Markleeville reminded him of Flagstaff and he loved viewing the Sierras. He read theoretical physics books for fun!
Bob’s parents, Harry and Grace, big brother Harry (Liz), and daughter Rhonda all predeceased him.
He is survived by his wife Teresa, son Bob (Shelly), grandsons Ben, Zach and Matt and granddaughter Rachel and her son, R.J. Bob’s large clan of in-laws, the Froncek Family, all love and survive him.
Bob’s interment will be at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley, Nevada on Tuesday, October 11th at 1 P.M. Later at 4 P.M., there will be food, drink and memories – including Bob’s “bean theory” – at El Charro Avitia, 4389 S. Carson Street in Carson City.
Sometime in the future, there will be toasts to Bob at the Cutthroat Saloon in Markleeville, California.
Please no flowers, but donations to the Disabled American Veterans or a charity of your choice are appreciated.
Who lives, who dies, who tells your story. . . Hamilton