Harold Eugene "Gene" Rankin
URBANA, IL - Harold Eugene "Gene" Rankin, of Urbana died Monday, May 13, 2013, after a brief illness.
Graveside services will be held at Zion Cemetery, Lincoln, Ill., at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, May 18. The Rev. Ryan Edgecombe will officiate. Holland Barry & Bennett Funeral Home of Lincoln is in charge of arrangements.
Mr. Rankin was born in Lincoln, Ill., the only child of Harold T. and Helen E Rankin. He married Norma Gehlbach, who survives. Also surviving are a son, John (Sandra) Rankin of Danbury, Conn.; a daughter, Nancy (Lawrence) Jeckel of Champaign; two grandsons, Benjamin (Laura) Jeckel of Long Grove and Christopher Jeckel of Chicago; and three great-grandsons. Mr. Rankin was preceded in death by his parents and a grandson, John A. Rankin.
Gene was a longtime resident of Champaign/ Urbana. He worked in the Urbana School System for 35 years, teaching at Washington School and subsequently serving as principal of Lincoln-Thornburn, Wiley, and Martin Luther King, Jr. schools.
Gene and Norma moved back to Lincoln, their hometown, in 2000, living in the Lincoln Christian Village. They returned to Urbana this past January.
Mr. Rankin was a graduate of Lincoln High School and Illinois Weslyan University, and received a Masters Degree in Educational Administration from the University of Illinois. He was a veteran of World War II, serving in the Pacific Theater.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Blind Service Association, 17 N. State St., Ste. 1050, Chicago, IL 60602.