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Dr. John Philip Raney

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Dr.  John Philip Raney Obituary
OAK HILL, WV - Dr. John Philip Raney , 83, of Oak Hill, WV passed away on Sunday, February 23, 2014. He was born January 20, 1931 in Kendallville, IN and was the son of the late Jesse and Donna Daniels Raney. Dr. Raney graduated from Purdue University in 1954 with a B.S. degree in Agricultural Engineering. While at Purdue, he was enrolled in the NROTC program and upon graduation, was designated an Ensign in the U. S. Navy and reported to the USS Latimer (APA 152). He served onboard the Latimer from 1954 to 1956 as the Main Propulsion Officer and deployed with the ship to the Mediterranean for five months. He received commendation from the Commanding Officer for his outstanding performance of duty and his loyalty to the officers with whom he served. Following his two years of active duty with the Navy, he was transferred to the Naval Ready Reserve and returned to Purdue University, earning his PhD in the field of Mechanical Engineering in 1959. Upon earning his PhD, Dr. Raney accepted a position at the University of Virginia (UVA) as an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, where he taught both undergraduate and graduate level courses in engineering, and performed research on Dynamics of High Speed Rotating Machinery. In 1963, Dr. Raney began working at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. During his distinguished career with NASA, he served as a Group Leader in the Dynamic Loads Division from '63-'64, Head of the Analytical Dynamics Section from '65-'70, Head of the NASTRAN Systems Management Office in the Structures Division from '70-'73, Head of the Aircraft Noise Prediction Office, Acoustics and Noise Reduction Division '73-'78, Head, Flight Systems Noise Branch, Acoustics and Noise Reduction Division '78-84, Senior Systems Engineer (Structures and Dynamics) in the Space Station Office from '84-'87, and from '87-'89 he moved to Houston, Texas where he served as Senior Systems Engineer in the Space Station Projects Office at the Johnson Space Center. While working at NASA, Dr. Raney attended night courses at the college of William and Mary, earning his MBA and graduating Summa Cum Laude in 1979. After retiring from NASA with 28 years of service, Dr. Raney taught Mechanical Engineering at West Virginia Institute of Technology in Montgomery, WV from 1991 until 1998. During this timeframe, he made two deployments with the U.S. Navy as a PACE (Program for Afloat College Education) instructor teaching Business and Management courses . His first deployment was onboard the USS Yorktown (CG-48) where he participated in BALTOPS '92, deploying to the Baltic Sea. His experience on the Yorktown was a highlight in his life. While onboard, he went well above the "call of duty" for a PACE instructor and assisted the ship and wardroom in a myriad of events: he assisted the officer's cook on the mess decks during Cook's Night Off, he refereed the ships basketball tournament, participated in various shipboard drills, and even bravely confronted the trials of the "Blue Nose" initiation ceremony when the ship crossed the Arctic Circle. He was a "shipmate" in every sense of the word. Due to the enthusiastic evaluation Dr. Raney received from the Yorktown, he was requested by name many times for follow-on PACE tours and deployed again as a PACE instructor onboard the USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60). Dr. Raney's interests were many and varied: he was an avid water skier and taught his family and many friends to water ski behind his ski boat on the Chickahominy River in Virginia. He won the Virginia State Championship Veteran Men's Tricks division, and came in second in the slalom division. He coached his son Jeff's and his daughter Elisa's city league basketball teams for many years, and played softball on a NASA softball team affectionately called "Raney's Raiders". He rode his Harley Davidson motorcycle on a cross country motorcycle trip with Elisa from San Diego to West Virginia on Highway 50. He played clarinet in the Charleston Metro Band and always enjoyed performing with the band. He was also very involved in his community and served as a member and former President of the Oak Hill Lion's Club. He was a Life Member of the VFW and served with Oak Hill VFW Post 3110, performing military rights for veterans at hundreds of funeral services through the years. He also served on the Fayette County Dilapidated Building Committee. He was a a member of the Masonic Lodge in Butler, IN, and an officer and past High Priest of Sewell Chapter No. 24 of the Royal Arch Masons of Oak Hill, WV. He was also a Shriner in Indiana and played clarinet in the Shriner's Gold Band in Charleston, WV. He was a member of the Knight's Templar Commandary No. 22, Mount Hope, WV. Survivors include his wife, Anne Kathryn Repaire; one son, Jeff Raney (Kerstin); two daughters, CAPT Elisa Raney USN (Ret.), and Rosi Whited (Allen); one sister, Madelon Lankford, (William); two nephews, Anthony Teutsch (MaryAnn), and Bill Lankford; one niece, Colleen Lankford Watson (Mike). In addition to his parents, Dr. Raney was preceded in death by his beloved sister, Mrs. Virginia Teutsch. Dr. Raney had a great enthusiasm for life and was very dear to everyone who was fortunate enough to know him. A memorial service will be on Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 4:30 P.M. at Tyree Funeral Home in Oak Hill with Rev. Roy Gene Crist officiating. Friends may call one hour prior to the service on Thursday at the funeral home. Military rites will be conducted by Oak Hill VFW Post 3110 and Masonic Rites by Oak Hill Lodge No. 120 A.F. and A.M. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial contributions be made to the New River Humane Society, PO Box 955, Fayetteville WV 25840. Online condolences may be sent at www.tyreefuneralhome.com.
Published in Daily Press on Feb. 26, 2014
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