Ray Wesley Rankin

June 24, 1937 ~ January 20, 2021 (age 83)


Ray Wesley Rankin, 83, passed away at Aultman Hospital in Canton, Ohio on January 20, 2021. 

Ray was born in Wilmot, Ohio, June 24, 1937, to Dempsey and Maxine (Owens) Rankin.  Raised in Navarre, he graduated from Navarre High School in 1955 and enlisted in the United States Navy. He served as a Radioman aboard the salvage/rescue ship USS Current with 3 years active duty at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and 5 years reserve duty at home.  He was honorably discharged in 1958.

On June 25, 1960, Ray married Karen Anne Fowler.  They were blessed to celebrate 60 years of marriage in 2020. Together, Ray and Karen raised two sons, Michael (Michele) Rankin of Marion, Ohio and Scott (Kim) Rankin of Chesterfield, Virginia, and welcomed two grandchildren; Shannon (Jared) Thomas and Tyler Rankin, and one great-grandchild, Jackson Thomas. 

Ray retired from Nickles Bakery in 1998. He worked for 37 years at the Akron branch, where he started as a route salesman, moving up to route supervisor and ending his career as branch manager.  He was an avid bowler since returning from the Navy and very proud of his four perfect 300 games and multiple 800 series. Ray also enjoyed golf, cheering on the Browns and Indians, and spending time with friends, especially George and Shirley Vorse, and too many others to list.

In addition to his immediate family, Ray will be dearly missed by one brother, Ron (Gay) Rankin, many loving nieces, nephews, and cousins, and his precious fur-buddy, Baleigh. 

The family wishes to thank the staff at Aultman 3rd floor Cardiac Care unit for their compassionate care in this time of difficulty.

Calling hours will be held from 10:30 to 11:30 at Arlington Avenue Church of God, 142 Arlington Avenue NW, Canton, Ohio, with services to follow at 11:30. Burial to follow the service at East Union Lawn Cemetery in Navarre.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Ray’s name to Wounded Warriors, Arlington Avenue Church of God, or a charity of your choosing.

Condolences to the family may be made at

Heitger Funeral Home and Crematory 330-830-0148

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ray Wesley Rankin, please visit our floral store.


January 25, 2021

10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Arlington Ave Church of God
142 Arlington Avenue NW
Canton, OH 44708

Funeral Service
January 25, 2021

11:30 AM
Arlington Ave Church of God
142 Arlington Avenue NW
Canton, OH 44708


Wounded Warrior Project
7020 A.C. Skinner Parkway, Suite 100, Jacksonville FL 32256
Tel: 1-877-832-6997

Arlington Ave Church of God
142 Arlington Avenue NW, Canton OH 44708

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