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William DeMotte Rankin Jr.

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William DeMotte Rankin Jr. Obituary
WILLIAM DEMOTTE RANKIN, JR. Age 88, founder of Bill's Locksmith Shop in Hemet, CA in l980 until his retirement in 2000, went home to be with the Lord on March 28, 2015. Born and raised on a 100-acre farm in Clarion, PA, the son of William DeMotte Rankin, Sr. and Elsie Elder Rankin. Immediately following high school graduation in 1944, Bill enlisted in the U.S. Army. A WWII veteran, he fought across France and Germany assigned to General George S. Patton's 3rd Army's final push to Berlin. He had crossed the Atlantic Ocean aboard the Queen Mary after it was retrofitted for troops, repainted grey, and was given the nickname "the Grey Ghost." It had sonar and could detect German U-Boats and out-run them by zig-zagging. A gentle man, well-loved by everyone who knew him, he is survived by his wife of ten years, Joy McClung Rankin, of Hemet; daughter, Kathleen Black, Arlington, WA; 3 sons: Jeffrey (wife, Paula), Brier, WA; Gregrey (wife, Renee), Palmer, AK; and Mark (wife, Chris), Bonners Ferry, ID; one brother, John (wife Norma), Orange, TX; 16 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren., and numerous nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by Anne Zetts Rankin, his beloved wife of 53 years, the mother of their 4 children, and who worked along-side Bill and Mark in the Locksmith Shop in Hemet. Also preceding in death were his parents, one sister, and 4 brothers. A Memorial Service will be held at First Baptist Church, 841 E. Evans St., San Jacinto at 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 9, 2015. Pastor Stacy Johnson will officiate. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to the church office, 794 Shaver Street, San Jacinto, Ca 92583, designated to Jesus' Hands Food Ministry in memory of Bill Rankin. Bill donated his body to Loma Linda University for medical purposes because it was honorable to give back and pay forward. His ashes will be returned to the family in two years and will be buried next to Anne in the San Jacinto Cemetery.

Published in Press-Enterprise on Apr. 8, 2015
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