Johnny W. Rankin


December 18, 1929 - March 1, 2014

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Johnny W. "John" Rankin, age 84, of Herrin, died Saturday, March 1, 2014, at 4:30 pm in St. Louis University Hospital, St. Louis, MO.

John was born December 18, 1929 in Uvalde, Texas, the son of Carl W. and Lena E. Zwick Rankin. On April 9, 1950 he married Juanita Gulley in Piggott, AR. She preceded him in death on April 16, 2004.

John was a 1947 graduate of Cuba High School, Cuba, IL. He was employed by the Peabody-Forsythe Coal Mine in Energy, IL for 26 years where he and his father were dragline operators. After the mine closed he became a dragline operator for Peabody Tebo Mine near Windsor, MO and for the Peabody River King Mine. After 35 years with Peabody Coal he became a pit foreman for Arch Minerals - Captain Mine for 10 years until his retirement, completing a 45 year career in the coal industry.

John was the inventor of the R&R Tamping Plug that was used in the coal strip-mining industry. John and Juanita were owners of the Parasol Dress Shops and the Rankin Hammond Organ and Piano Studio in Herrin and Marion. He was a former member of Lone Oak Baptist Church and Herrin United Methodist Church in Herrin, IL and former member of First Baptist in Windsor, MO. John is a member of First Baptist Church in Marion, IL were he is a deacon.

John in his early years enjoyed hunting and fishing with his brother and later bow hunting with his son and fishing with his grandson. While living in Missouri during a long U.M.W.A. strike, he took carving classes and became an accomplished wood carver. In his later years, despite crippled hands, he continued to carve wood boots and enjoyed teaching his caregivers how to carve.

Survivors include: a daughter, Karla J. Rankin of Herrin, IL, a son, J. Kevin (Krista) Rankin of Quincy, IL, a grandson, Johnny K. (Erin) Rankin of Mendon, IL, a granddaughter, Elizabeth M. Rankin of Carbondale, IL, 2 great grandchildren, Kendra L. and Coulson T. Rankin both of Mendon, IL, 3 sisters, Louise Molla of Bethalto, IL, Lanora Yohe of Neavitt, MD and Cathy (Dennis) Collins of Herrin, IL, 3 sisters-in-law, Maxine Smith of Herrin, IL, Dorothy (Everett) Wade of Lake Wales, FL and Jeanettia Gulley of Herrin, IL, numerous nieces and nephews.

In addition to his wife, Johnny was preceded in death by his parents, a great grandson, James Kevin Rankin, a brother, Walter R. Rankin and several sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law.

Services will be 11:00 am Friday, March 7, 2014 at First Baptist Church in Marion with Rev. Dr. Bob Dickerson officiating. Burial will be in Herrin City Cemetery in Herrin. Visitation will be 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., Thursday March 6, 2014 at Meredith-Waddell Funeral Home, 2704 South Park Avenue, Herrin, IL.

Memorial donations may be made to the First Baptist Church Building Fund of Marion.

Hansen-Spear Funeral Directors and Meredith-Waddell Funeral Home are in charge of arrangements.