Posted 1/26/16 (Tue)
Ronald Rankin, 69, former Watford City Police Officer and Sheriff of McKenzie County N.D., passed away peacefully surrounded by family in his home in Roy, Wash., on Jan. 6, 2016. He had been battling cancer for many years before Jesus called him home.
Ron Rankin was born in Roxbury, Mass. in May 1946. As a young man he served four years with the United States Navy before joining the Marine Corps - where he went on to serve an additional 16 years. He was a Veteran of the Vietnam War and Desert Storm.
After retiring from the military, he and his family moved to Watford City, N.D.
He worked for 22 years as an officer before he was elected sheriff of McKenzie County in 2006.
Ron was actively involved in the community, and had a special place in his heart for the youth of McKenzie County and was a friend to many.
Ron served as a youth softball coach, helped develop a youth flag football league, brought in a youth skate park, and volunteered every year for the Counter Act Program, which provided protection for youth against drugs and violence.
Ron cherished visiting local elementary schools while in uniform to educate adolescents about community policing while sharing stories of time spent in Hawaii.
Ron also served as a local Scout Master for many years and positively influenced the young men of Troop 382. Some of Ron’s favorite memories involved his time spent with the troop. Ron dedicated much of his life to tutoring and mentoring the young people of McKenzie County.
Ronald is survived by his wife, Dee Rankin; his six children; daughter, Trenace Sax and husband Glenn of N.D.; Dawn Rankin of New Mexico; John Rankin and fiancé Anna of Wash.; Jennifer Hafey and husband Andrew of Wash.; Deedra Hooks and husband Reynaldo of Wash.; Eric Rankin and wife Jenifer of Wash.; and sister, Brenda Phelps and husband James of N.Y. He is also survived by his 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild, all of whom were the light of his life.
Ron Rankin was laid to rest with full military honors on Jan. 19, 2016, at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, Wash.