Warren Glenn Rankins passed away on March 6, 2013.
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He was preceded in death by four brothers and the love of his life, his wife of 69 years, Mary Lee Rankins. Born in Iowa October 4, 1920, to Viola and Earl Rankins, Warren grew up on the family dairy farm in Waterville, New York. After leaving home, he attended The University of Michigan on a track scholarship. He later moved to California to attend Pasadena City College where he met and married Mary Lee. Warren enlisted in the Army during World War II and served in the medical corps as a Surgical Technician in Palm Springs. Tech Sergeant Rankins cared for soldiers wounded overseas. Warren helped save lives.
Following his service, Warren attended the University of California at Berkley where he earned his Bachelor of Science in pre Med. The family moved to Springville, CA and bought a small property known to the family as "The Ranch." Warren later earned his master's degree in sociology from Fresno State University. In 1955 Warren was hired as a teacher for Ducor Union Elementary School, and the following year the family moved to Ducor when he became Principal and eighth grade teacher. Warren retired from Ducor School in 1989
Math and History were his teaching passions. Students continued to come back for schoolwork help after graduating to local High Schools and colleges. Warren obtained the teachers manuals for the high school and college text books so he could Tutor former students, often over the phone. Mentoring young people was his abiding passion in life. His greatest joy was when former students came back to see him or when they stopped him in town to talk. You made his day.
Warren was Scoutmaster for troop 112 for more than 28 years. Leading boys on trips to summer camp at Huntington Lake. The troop hiked parts of the John Muir Trail, made Mt. Whitney ascents and annual trips to Pismo for sand, clams and fun. Faith was always part of the trip and Sunday mornings, Warren insisted the troop hold a small "Scout's Own" service at some quiet, inspiring setting near camp. He served on Eagle boards of review for Boy Scouts in the area throughout his time with the program. Warren attended the Philmont Boy Scout National training center in 1966, received the Silver Beaver, the highest honor a BSA council can award a volunteer in 1967 and attended the 1969 National Boy Scout Jamboree. His happiest hours were spent with his students and his scouts. Along with his work with the BSA, Warren was a 4-H leader, and taught woodworking, helped organize and coach Little League baseball, coached every sport played by the Ducor School and served as a Deacon in the First Congregational Church in Porterville. He competed in the Senior Olympics in the half-mile and one-mile races and would participate in marathons and half marathons. He could be seen every afternoon running in the area training for the next race.
Unofficially and quietly he worked with social workers and local law enforcement as an advocate for the disadvantaged, at risk and abused mothers and children. He cared deeply for his community and his school.
Following Warren's retirement in 1989, he and Mary Lee moved to Springville and spent time fixing up the old family home. They travelled around the country for a time seeing relatives and sights they had wanted to see but never could during his teaching career.
After a side trip to Alaska during the National Boy Scout Jamboree, the beautiful Yukon country held a special place in his heart. Following his retirement, Alaska drew him back to spend 3 summers with the GPAA gold camp in Nome. He loved that 24 hour sunlight as it meant gold panning by day and endless hours of fishing by night. "I'll sleep when I'm dead" he would tell us.
Warren was involved with the local Springville Museum helping to restore old equipment for display and rebuilding roofs and structures on the site. Work days at the Museum were sometimes more about hanging out with good friends and sharing a lunch at the Hamburger Stand than it was about the project. He worked out at the College Gym, pumping iron into his 80's. At 92 he enjoyed his life, with family and friends. Warren still enjoyed trips to the beach to walk in the surf and have fish and chips with clam chowder. Helping with home projects and time well spent with his grandchildren.
Warren is survived by: his four children Kathy Edwards (Stan)Tucson, Az., Virginia Rankins (Mac McKibben) Tracys Landing, Md., Victor Rankins (Laurie) Bakersfield, Ca. and Nancy Giggy (Chris) Alsea, Or., 13 Grandchildren and 10 Great Grandchildren. Dad, you are forever in our hearts. We have great memories of this truly great man. We love and miss you.
A celebration of Warren Glenn Rankins' life to be held on Saturday, April 13, 2013, at 11:00 AM. at The First Congregational Church 165 E. Mill Ave, Porterville, CA 93257.
In lieu of flowers, we ask that you contribute to your local Boys Scout Troop or The Wounded Warrior Project in honor of his Marine Grandsons.
Doughty-Calhoun-O'Meara Funeral Directors, 1100 Truxtun Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93301
Published in The Porterville Recorder on Apr. 9, 2013