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Thomas C. Rankin

1919 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
Thomas C. Rankin


Thomas Clifford Rankin, Jr., 93, husband of the late Leah Pettit, passed away Saturday April 13, 2013 at his home on Liberty Highway after a short illness. He was the son of the late Grayton Johnston and Thomas C. Rankin.

Born May 19, 1919 in the Walker McElmoyle community of Anderson County, he graduated from Pendleton High School then traveled to New York to train as a diesel mechanic.

In January of 1942, prompted by the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he, along with several community friends, joined the military. He served in the Army Air Corp until 1946.

The majority of his working life was spent at Anderson Auto Parts in Easley as an auto mechanic. He retired from Wamsutta Industries in Anderson.

He was a member of Flat Rock Baptist Church where he held the distinction of oldest male member. He served many years as a trustee of the Walker McElmoyle School Farm and Slabtown Cemetery Friends.

Thomas enjoyed working around his home and always had a project in progress. His hands and mind were never idle and he never turned down an opportunity to "fix" something. A favorite activity was traveling to Oolenoy Community House for bluegrass jams where he was especially fascinated by the talent of the young people. His quick wit, energy, knowledge, wisdom and love were a constant inspiration to his daughters, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, family and friends. Above all else, Thomas Rankin lived a dignified and respected life. He will be missed and fondly remembered by many.

He is survived by daughters Debbie Sears of Pendleton, Nancy and husband Billy Ewing of Anderson; grandchildren Chuck Sears and wife Carolyn, Jody Sears and wife Susan, Lori Sloan and husband Michael, Tyler Williams and wife Michaela. Great-grandchildren are Haden, Savannah, Sarah and Matthew Sears; Reagan and Blake Sloan. Thomas was anticipating the September birth of a seventh great-grandchild, Harper Williams. Also surviving is sister Rachael R. Breazeale of Greenwood, nieces and nephews.

In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by a granddaughter Courtney Ellen Williams, son-in-law David Sears, sister Mildred R. Batson and brothers Hugh and Bill Rankin.

Funeral services will be at held 2:00 PM Tuesday at Flat Rock Baptist Church, 115 Slab Bridge Road, Liberty, SC, followed by interment in Slabtown Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Bagwell Road, Liberty.

Visitation will be from 12:30 until 1:45 PM Tuesday at the church, prior to the service.

Memorials may be made to Slabtown Cemetery Friends, 802 Windy Hill Drive, Anderson, SC 29621 or the charity of ones' choice.

Condolences may be expressed online at or in person at Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown, which is assisting the family.


Published in The Greenville News on Apr. 15, 2013
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