Ella Mae Rankin
November 24, 1922 ~ September 27, 2015
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.