CAMDEN — “You gotta keep moving.” That’s what Frank always said and he took his own advice right up to the end. He passed away August 13 following a period of declining health. His daughters were by his side.
Frank W. Rankin was born in Camden on February 25, 1933, the son of Austin Sr. and Edna Packard Rankin. He attended school in Camden and graduated with the class of 1951. Frank left Camden to attend Wentworth Institute of Technology where he majored in Mechanical Engineering. After graduating, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served as a Petty Officer First Class.
Frank returned to his beloved hometown where he married his high school sweetheart, Nancy Perkins on June 19, 1955. They were wed on the Rankin’s property on Union Street. Together they raised their two daughters and made a very happy life together. They were married for 42 years until she succumbed to cancer at the age of 62.
Frank was happiest while working at the family business, Rankin Grain, now Rankin’s Hardware and Building Supply until eight weeks before his passing. He truly loved helping others and never considered retirement an option. He was very fond of the employees, many who have been with the store for their entire careers. They were more than coworkers, they are considered part of the family.
A familiar face in the community, Frank was always eager to lend a hand. Whether through volunteering his time, supporting local charities, or providing rides to those needing transportation.
He served as President for Camden Chamber of Commerce, was a member of the Camden Outing Club, and the Camden Civic Theater appearing in The King and I, and Finian’s Rainbow. Frank also performed in the minstrel shows, once singing “Sweet Georgia Brown.”
In 1962, Frank became a member of the Lion’s Club and served as treasurer for more than 15 years. Before passing on the reins to Bob Oxton and Tom Jackson, he was very involved in the maintenance, assembly and disassembly of the Mount Battie star that continues to shine over Camden every Christmas season.
In 2008, Frank was honored by the Camden–Rockport-Lincolnville Chamber of Commerce as Community Person of the Year. In 2011, he was awarded the Lumber Person of the Year by the Retail Lumber Dealers Association of Maine.
Other than his work and volunteerism, Frank’s greatest joy was the time he spent on his boats, the Necessity and the Prima Barca. Each summer was a new adventure exploring the many islands of Penobscot Bay with his family and close friends, Jack and Jane Russo and family.
In his later years, he gave up boating for the dance floor with his companion of 15 years, Ruth Duff. They spent many Saturday nights at various community gatherings. They also enjoyed spending time at Ruth’s summer cottage on the water in Tenants Harbor. Frank lovingly cared for Ruth in the last years of her life as she battled Alzheimer’s.
Frank is preceded by his parents, his wife Nancy (1997), his brother Austin Jr. (1986), his sister Edna “Dolly” Libby (2007), and his companion Ruth Duff (2013). He is survived by his daughters, Lisa and her husband Steven Burgess, of Rockland, Lenity Jane and her husband, Stephen Larrabee, of Falmouth; four grandchildren, Michael Burgess and his wife Rachel of Topsham, Melissa Burgess of Rockport, Morgan Larrabee of Boston, Massachusetts, and Maeve Larrabee of New York, New York; his great-granddaughter Cailin Anna Burgess; his sister Annie Mae Young Spirio; his special companion and furry roommate Abbey; as well as many nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank Maine Home Health Care at Home for their support, as well as the staff of PBMC for their compassion.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Frank’s name to either, P.A.W.S. Animal Adoption Center, P.O. Box 707, Rockport, Maine 04856; or Coastal Opportunities, P.O. Box 637, Camden, Maine 04843.
A celebration of Mr. Rankin’s life will be held at 2 p.m., Monday, August 20, 2018, at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland. The Reverend Susan Stonestreet will officiate.
To share a memory or condolence with the Rankin family, please visit their Book of Memories at www.bchfh.com.