William A. Rankin ✵ 1928-2002

Name at birth:    William A. Rankin 
Date of birth:    13/01/1928 
Place of birth:   Fayetteville, Arkansas USA 
Date of death:    10/11/2002 
Place of death:   Waupaca, WI USA 
Place of burial:  Waupaca, WI USA

Submitted by: Denise Basche (

William A. Rankin, age 74, passed away Sunday, November 10, 2002 at home following a courageous battle with lung cancer.

Bill was born on January 13, 1928 in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and moved to Byron, Wisconsin, with his mother, Edna (Steinbarth) Domke. He grew up on his grandparent’s farm until moving to the Neenah-Menasha area where he attended and graduated from St. Mary’s Central High School, Menasha.

He served his country with honor in the U.S. Navy from 1946 until 1952 serving in both World War II and the Korean War. Bill joined the U.S.S. LeJeune’s crew in August 1946, in San Francisco. That was his first assignment as F1C, working on the evaporators in A Division. While attending the Institute of Fine Arts in Chicago, he was recalled to serve his country during the Korean War. He earned numerous medals including World War II, Naval Occupation Asia, National Defense, and the China Service medal. Bill was a member of Weyauwega VFW Post 10407, Weyauwega American Legion Amdt Bruley Post 176, Military Order of the Cootie Wat-O-Ma Pup Tent 38 (the Honor Degree of the VFW), The U.S.S. LeJeune Association, The AmVets, the Gulf Coast Genealogical Society, the Genealogical Society in Waupaca, and a proud member of Clan Maclean International- Clan Gillean USA. Bill was an award-winning trumpet player in high school, played in the ship’s band, and was a great lover of Dixieland Jazz. He enjoyed model shipbuilding, oil painting, gardening and reading books on military history, especially the Civil War. He was an avid fan of the Green Bay Packers.

Bill was employed as a credit manager at Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Neenah, and retired in 1983. He is survived by his wife of 28 years, Margaret (Maggie); daughter, Suzanne, Madison; three sons: Patrick (Audrey), Neenah; Timothy, Neenah; Kenneth (Virginia), Holloman AFB, New Mexico; a half sister, Jan Anderson, Shawnee, Kansas; 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Bill was preceded in death by his parents; and a son, Michael.

The funeral service was held Friday, November 15, 2002 at the Holly Funeral Home in Waupaca, and a military burial service at the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King following the service at the funeral home.

We will miss you, Uncle Bill!
Denise (Lundergan) Basche
Renee (Lundergan) Kamke
and our mom Kate Helms

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