Ella Mae Rankin

ella  rankin
Ella Mae Rankin, age 92 of New Hampton, IA passed away on Sunday, September 27, 2015 at her home with her family by her side. Ella Mae Thomas Rankin was born at Edgewood, IA on November 24, 1922 on a farm in Deleware County. She was the daughter of Roy and Mary (Jefferson) Thomas. She attended rural school and first two years at Manchester High School before graduating from Strawberry Point High School in 1940. It was at a Methodist Church young people group where Ella Mae met Don Rankin. The couple was married in 1941. Ella Mae joined her husband after he entered the military and began training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina. While on base Ella Mae worked in a large Drive-in laundry until returning home while Don was deployed overseas. While home, the couple’s first son was born in May, Don returned in August. It was then the couple made their home in New Hampton. Ella Mae worked in the variety store and school cafeteria. She also taught cake decorating classes. Ella Mae enjoyed flowers and belonged to the Garden Club. She also volunteered, coordinated and delivered meals to the elderly with Meals on Wheels, as well as the Food Pantry. She was a member of First United Methodist Church and was very active in the United Methodist Women organization. Ella Mae is survived by her husband, Don Rankin of New Hampton, IA; two daughters, Diana (Don) Richmond of Arden Hills, MN and Barbara (Gene) Dahlen of Waterloo, IA; two sons, Ron (Verna) Rankin of Big Lake, MN; John Rankin of New Hampton, IA; two sisters, Lavon Williams of Edgewood, IA and Esther (Richard) Rath of Dubuque, IA; one sister-in-law, Blanche Thomas of Strawberry Point, IA; six grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren. Preceded in death by her parents; one brother, Donald Thomas; half brother, Brandy; one sister, Lula Tweed and one brother-in-law, Harold Rankin.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Ellla Mae was a gracious lady always willing to help wherever needed. She loved her church, and circle and had a smile for everyone. God Bless you Ella Mae

  2. John and family…………..I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. Know that she is still with you in your heart and that you have some wonderful memories that were made in her 92 years on this earth. Thought and prayers to you and your family in the days and weeks to come

  3. To the rankin’s….you have our deepest sympathy….Ella Mae was always such a sweetheart of a person….may you enjoy all of your memories!

  4. My sympathy and prayers are with Don and all of the Rankin family. Ella Mae was a kind and special person. I remember her as a deeply faith-filled person. I wish you all God’s love and peace.

  5. We extend our deepest sympathy to the Rankins on the loss of such a sweet and giving wife, mother, grandmother and friend. Ella Mae and Don were wonderful friends of my parents, Barb and Charlie Vickers, when they moved to New Hampton in 2002. We will always be grateful for their exceptional love and caring support. Am certain Ella Mae and my folks are having a ball singing Methodist hymns together in Heaven!

  6. To Diana and family,
    I have precious memories of sitting around your dining room table at Girl Scout meetings in your home. Your mother was a wonderful and kind Girl Scout leader, and gave of herself to all of the girls in our troop. As a young girl at our meetings I could feel the the warmth, acceptance and security she had established in your home and that she extended to all of us in her Scout troop. May she rest in peace and may all of your precious memories of your mom give you comfort. My memories of your mom are filling my heart with the happiness of those days gone by!

    Audrey Brannon Sweitzer

  7. Our heartfelt condolences to Mr. Rankin and family. Ella Mae touched my heart with her lively faith in Jesus Christ during the times my husband Bud attended the United Metholdist services in New Hampton. She was a beacon of light and faith. May her soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace through Christ Our Lord.

    Patty & Bud Mowatt

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