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Robert Rankin (W0NXN/K4GQN)
Feb 24, 2014
Robert Louis Rankin, known as Bob. passed away February 24, 2014, from multiple cancers at the age of 75, in Saint Lukes Hospice in Kansas City, MO.
He was born to Harvey Rankin and Helen Rankin in Bellefonte, PA on January 17, 1939. Almost all of his childhood was spent in Tifton, GA, where he pioneered the Tifton chapter of the Ground Observer Corps in the mid 1950's. That GOC chapter ultimately drew in a large number of Tifton young people into one of the most active chapters in that part of the state. He was active in the Boy Scouts in Troop 63, and attended the 1953 National Boy Scout Jamboree at Irvine Ranch, CA. With Jim "Sonny" Hardy, K4HAV, he became an active amateur radio operator, K4GQN, and again helped inspire countless other Tifton teenagers to become hams. Many of these were members of the Ground Observer Corps as well.
He graduated from Tifton High School in 1956, attended Emory University for his bachelors degree, and acquired a Ph.D. degree in Linguistics at the University of Chicago in 1972. He spent 1966-68 as a Fulbright Fellow in Romania. He spent the rest of his life as a professor of Linguistics at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS, where he specialized in the study and preservation of Native American languages such as that of the Kaw Nation of Oklahoma. He was made an honorary member of the Sioux Nation in recognition of his efforts.
He maintained his enthusiasm for amateur radio to the end, having acquired the new call sign W0NXN when he moved to Kansas. He became an active severe weather spotter in Kansas as part of his amateur radio service.
Bob is survived by his wife of 48 years, Carolyn of Tonganoxie, KS, and his younger brother Jim of Concord, CA. Bob will be greatly missed. His keen sense of humor was a hallmark that all his friends will always remember.
Contributed by: William R. (Ray) Colbert (W5XE)
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