Dean Rankin, 89, died on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 in Las Cruces, NM. He was a resident of Roswell, NM from 1957 to 2011. Dean and his wife, Joy, moved to Las Cruces, NM in 2011 to be closer to family.Dean was born on a sizzling hot summer day on July 7, 1927 on his Grandpa Calvert's ranch in "No Man's Land" near Optima, Oklahoma to Zella Mae Calvert Rankin and Charles Winfred "Fred" Rankin.He attended school in the Guymon Oklahoma Public Schools. After high school, he joined the U.S. Air Force and became a flight engineer on B-26 aircraft. In 1950, he was assigned to Japan to participate in the Korean War. He was awarded the Air Medal with 6 Clusters and other service medals. After his discharge in 1951, he became a lifetime member of the Disabled Veterans of America.He is survived by his daughters, Pamela Jo Rankin-Clarkson of Portland, OR, grandchildren Angela and Andrew Clarkson, and Vicki Lou Flynn and husband Dick of Eugene, OR, and his sons, Ricky Dean Rankin, wife Shirley, of Tucson, AZ, grandchildren Matthew Chivari and Lauren Scotti, and Randy Ray Rankin, wife Deanna, and grandsons Kyle and Ian Rankin of Las Cruces, NM.He and his wife attended Northern Colorado University in Greeley, CO and both earned B.S. degrees in Education. In 1959, they both attended Adams State College in Alamosa, CO where Dean earned an M.S. in Guidance and Counseling. He also did graduate work at Eastern New Mexico University, Western State College, and the University of Oklahoma. He taught school in Redlands, California before working in the Roswell Independent Schools as a teacher, administrator, and counselor for 28 years.Dean belonged to the First United Methodist Church in Roswell, NM where he was head usher for many years. He belonged to local, state, and national education associations, BPOE Elks Club #969, DAV and local square dance groups. Dean had a lifetime love of horses and Australian Shepherd dogs. His first registered horse "Carrots" was purchased, sight unseen, while he was in Korea. His dog, Pepper, was a constant companion for many years. Dean spent every day tending horses before and after work. He has been a longtime member of the American Quarter Horse Association and raised and owned far more quarter horses than his wife ever knew. He was preceded in death by A. Joy Rankin, his wife of 57 years. Joy suffered from Parkinson's for 20 years and Dean faithfully served as her caregiver until her death. He was also preceded in death by two sisters LaMoyne Nichols and Eudora Masterson. Burial will take place in South Park Cemetery in Roswell, NM at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations in Dean's honor to the Cowboy Bell Scholarship Fund at First United Methodist Church at 200 N. Pennsylvania Ave, Roswell, NM 88201.
Arrangements are with Getz Funeral Home 1410 E. Bowman Ave., Las Cruces NM 88001. Please visit
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