Duly Noted

In Memoriam: Richard J. Rankin (1938-2015)


Richard J. Rankin, Jr., of counsel to Fisher and Dickinson since 2005, passed away Nov. 4.

Rankin was born in Saginaw  on August 8, 1938, the son of Richard and Rhoda Rankin. He graduated from Arthur Hill High School in Saginaw, then went on to Ferris State where he graduated with outstanding honors. He proudly obtained his Juris Doctor from University of Michigan in 1965.

As an attorney for Wick's Lumber, Rick traveled all over Michigan. After joining the law firm Clary, Nantz and Wood, he moved to Grand Rapids with his family in 1971. He enjoyed years as an arbitrator for the Federal Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and serving on the board of directors for the Senior Meals Program.

Rankin enjoyed bird hunting, fishing and spending time outdoors. He was most happy on a boat on the Great Lakes or at his cottage on the Straits of Mackinaw with friends and family. His contagious laughter, jovial spirit and committed generosity attracted many to him. In 1980 he was united in marriage to Virginia L. Swank who survives him. Also surviving are three daughters Ann (Gary) Douglas, Jane (Russell) Weis, and Susan (Nicholas) Sansone, and two step-children Elizabeth (Stephen) Robinson, and Gregory (Debbie) Prinsze, as well as nine grandchildren: Amanda, Travis and Trent Douglas, Rachel, Rusty and Leah Weis, and Josephine, Priscilla and Gavin Sansone; two great grandchildren Abigail and Madison Schutt; two sisters Judy (Roger) Maugh, Lesley (Calvin) Shuster; and several nieces and nephews. His obituary states, “Rick is also survived by all the jokes he wanted to tell, all the laughs he would continue to have with all the friends who would share in his mirth, and by his beloved golden retriever, Dolly.”

Rankin was recently recognized for 50 years of legal service by the Grand Rapids Bar Association, and appeared at the Law Day Ceremony in May of this year to receive his pin.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Senior Meals Program 2900 Wilson Ave. SW Grandville, MI. 49418.

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