Contact Us / Location
330-18th Street North
Brandon, MB R7A 7P3
Phone: 204-727-0330
Fax: 204-725-0971

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Obituary for Eugene "Gene" Rankin

Eugene "Gene"  Rankin
Eugene “Gene” Louis Rankin was born at home in Chestertown, New York on September 11, 1937 to parents Eugene Louis Sr. and Gertrude Rankin. After completing grade 12 at Chestertown Central School, and a brief stint in a forestry program, Gene enlisted in the US Air Force, received training as a radio operator and was stationed at Wheelus Air Force base in Libya, where he served until the death of his father. As the sole surviving son and support for his mother, Gene received an honorable discharge and returned to Chestertown to run the family insurance business. After marrying Diane VanderLinden, Gene completed community college, undergraduate and graduate degree programs, eventually earning an Education Doctorate (Ed.D.) in 1970 from Indiana University in Bloomington, Illinois. Gene moved to Canada with Diane and young son Paul (born 1966) when he was hired as an assistant professor to teach audio-visual theory and media production in the Education Faculty at the University of Alberta. With his solid background in industrial arts and media production, photography, drafting, ceramics, carpentry, wood carving and fabrication, plus an aptitude for all things mechanical and electrical, Gene brought a unique skill set to the university. With a natural flair for teaching, Gene brought out the best in undergraduate and graduate students alike. He was indeed a “Renaissance” man, but preferred to describe himself as a “Jack of all Trades – Master of Several”. After Gene and Diane divorced, Gene married Helen Sparrow in July 1979. A few years later they moved to Brandon, MB, where son Everett (1983) and daughter Kate (1986) were born and raised. Gene worked as a painter until he was hired at Brandon University, Faculty of Education where he taught education courses and served as Student Advisor and Field Experience Coordinator, until his retirement over 20 years later. Gene was a man of faith, a born-again believer who accepted the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, and was active in ministry opportunities through his church and in particular, the Christian Motorcyclists Association of Canada (CMA Canada). Gene died peacefully in hospital on Thursday May 30, 2019 with Helen, Everett, and Kate at his side. He was predeceased by his father Eugene Sr, mother Gertrude, and sister Janice. Left to mourn his passing are his wife Helen; son Paul, his wife Nancy Cameron, and their children Liam and Meira; son Everett; daughter Kate and her partner Amanda Worobec; sister-in-law Morlene Mogan; and brother-in-law Murray Sparrow. Gene’s extended family includes cousins, nieces, nephews (and their families) who live in the USA and Canada. Cremation has taken place. The Celebration of Gene's Life, officiated by Pastor Brian Ray, together with Scott Allen, Joe Ball, and James Rosso, will take place Friday, June 14, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at Richmond Park Mennonite Brethren Church, 1525 - 26th Street in Brandon, Manitoba. A reception will follow. Flowers are gratefully declined. Donations in memory of Gene may be made to the Christian Motorcyclists Association of Canada, P.O. Box 521, Red Deer, AB T4N 5G1, Youth for Christ-Brandon, 4-1228 Rosser Avenue, Brandon, MB R7A 0L6, Teen Challenge-Brandon, Site 325, Box 24, RR3, Brandon, MB R7A 5Y3, Mennonite Central Committee, 134 Plaza Drive, Winnipeg, MB R3T 5K9 or a charity of choice.
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