William Nevyn Rankin III

Obituary
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  • "I was so sorry to learn of Nevyn's passing. I worked with..."
    - Lynn Nelson
  • "Kind and loving Father, You so kindly graced me with the..."
    - Becky Lok
  • "Dear Susan, Duncan and Family........... We were so sorry..."
    - George and Donna Wicks
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    - Ernie Evensen
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William Nevyn Rankin III
KATY, TX - Born on February 8, 1938, in Winston-Salem, NC, William Nevyn Rankin III was the only child of William Nevyn Rankin Jr. and Ella Gates Rankin. Baptized as a covenant infant, he was received by profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ into the Communing Membership of First Presbyterian Church of Winston-Salem in 1946. He grew up there and graduated from North Carolina State University with a metallurgical engineering degree before marrying Susan Fulton Luckenbach in Home Moravian Church on June 18, 1960.
The young couple made their Christian home in Aiken, SC, where they joined Grace Presbyterian and finally First Presbyterian Church by transfer of letter. Their only child, William Duncan Rankin, was baptized at Home Moravian Church in November 1961.
Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1962, Nevyn Rankin was in a wheelchair for over a decade of his adult life, released only after suffering life-threatening burns and a difficult recovery. While the exact cause for his medical improvement was never discovered, Nevyn always trusted God and His providence, thanking Him for his many blessings. As his medical situation improved, he was able to return the favor of caregiving to his wife, who progressively lost her sight to Retinitis Pigmentosa.
Nevyn Rankin worked as a Research Engineer and Fellow Engineer at Savannah River Laboratory in Aiken, SC, for DuPont and Westinghouse before retiring in 1993. Further service at the Savannah River Technology Center as a Consulting Engineer with Ebasco and a Principal Engineer with Raytheon completed the balance of his professional career in 1995. Nevyn Rankin was best known for his work in nuclear decontamination at Savannah River and beyond.
Nevyn Rankin was gifted with mechanical aptitude and practical skill. In high school he was a beekeeper, a paperboy, and a builder of Model T cars from scrap parts. In adulthood, he was a clockmaker, Heathkit builder, gardener, and an avid woodworker who sold his candlesticks and other handmade ware at Aiken's Makin'. And, like his father before him, he was a Ruling Elder in the Reformed tradition, as well as a Sunday School teacher and church choir member.
On Sunday, August 10, 2014, after battling bile duct cancer at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX for 5 months, Nevyn Rankin went home to be with the Lord, aged 76 years. "For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39).
William Nevyn Rankin III is survived by his wife Susan Luckenbach Rankin, son William Duncan Rankin, daughter-in-law Shirley Riley Rankin, grandsons Thomas Reid Rankin II and Arthur John Rankin III, and granddaughter Susan Mae Rankin.
Services as follows: Funeral Tuesday, August 12, 2014, at 7pm at Christ Church (PCA), Katy, TX; Burial Sunday, August 17, 2014, at 4pm in Clemmons Moravian Church yard, Clemmons, NC; and Memorial Service Monday, August 18, 2014, at 4pm in First Presbyterian Church, Aiken, SC.
In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged to the respective church building funds or MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Published in The Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star from Aug. 15 to Aug. 17, 2014