Edwin Elbert “Bud” Rankin died peacefully on Sunday, Sept. 13 after a brief illness. He was 93.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Lois Jackson Rankin, who died in 2004; by
their infant son Richard Earl “Rickey” Rankin in 1954, and by his parents, Earl W. and Beatrice
Rankin of Marion, Kentucky.
Mr. Rankin is survived by three children: Jaime Stone (Tommy), Marjo Rankin, and Jed Rankin
(Susan), all of Marion, and grandchildren Kasey Rankin of London, England, and Jake Rankin
of Marion. He is also survived by dear friends Randy and Debbie Goins.
Mr. Rankin was born March 7, 1927 in Fords Ferry, Kentucky on the Ohio River. After a
childhood filled with Huck Finn adventures, he went to work at age 16 on a river boat that
pushed barges as far south as New Orleans and north to Cincinnati. He continued to work on
the boats, first as a galley boy and then as the captain’s clerk, during summer and Christmas
breaks from school and college.
Mr. Rankin joined the Navy upon early graduation from high school and served in the Marshall
Islands during World War II. At war’s end, he went back to the river boats before enrolling at the
University of Kentucky, where he met Lois Jackson. They married when he graduated in 1951.
They settled in Marion in 1960. Mr. Rankin became active in the community and, among his
many contributions, he served as president of the Civitan Club, chairman of the Marion Hospital
Board, and a key fundraiser in building the former McDowell Hospital. Rankin Drive, the road
leading to the hospital, is named in his honor.
Mr. Rankin was also active in recruiting doctors to McDowell County and was a developer of the
medical park adjacent to the hospital. He was a member of the Hospice of McDowell County
Board, and a deacon at First Baptist Church of Marion, where he served on planning and
finance committees, among others.
Mr. Rankin started his business, Marion Credit Company, in 1973. His son Jed and grandson
Jake continue to operate the business.
A public graveside service for Mr. Rankin will be Saturday, Sept. 19 at 11 a.m. at McDowell
Memorial Park, with the Rev. Dr. Scott Hagaman presiding. Beam Funeral Service and
Crematory is assisting the family.
Memorials can be made to First Baptist Church, 99 North Main St., Marion, N.C. 28752; or
Hospice of McDowell County, 575 Airport Road, Marion, N.C. 28752.
The family would like to thank staff members at Care Partners Solace Center in Asheville for
their care of our father and grandfather.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Edwin Elbert Rankin, please visit our floral store.