Obituary of Mary Jane Rankin
Mary Jane Rankin, a loving great-grandmother who lived an amazing 100 years plus, passed peacefully on March 6 in Thousand Oaks. In her long years on this earth, she spent the last twelve of them in the Conejo Valley, close to her daughter Patt Sendejas’ family. A homemaker for 82 years; family was her joy. She was blessed with twelve grandchildren; five grandkids (4 boys, 1 girl), six great-grandkids (3 boys, 3 girls), and one great-great grandchild (a boy).
Born in 1918 in Omaha, Nebraska, she grew up with five brothers and a sister. It was a simpler life in those days of few cars and a streetcar for transportation. She graduated from North High School in 1937, the years of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and married Russell Rankin, the love of her life a month after graduation. She gave birth in 1938 to son Russell Jr., who died in 1996, and to Patricia (Patt) in 1948.
The Rankins moved to California in 1957 when her husband, Russell, who worked for the U.S. Postal Service, was transferred to Culver City. She loved music, and learned to play the violin at an early age. In her 50s, since she had a talent and love for singing, she performed and traveled with the Sweet Adelines. The Rankins long marriage of 69 years lasted until Russell died in 2006. Mary sold her home in Chatsworth and moved to the Conejo Valley a year later to be near her daughter Patt in Thousand Oaks.
Wanting to be involved and useful, Mary became an active member of the Goebel Senior Center. She looked forward to participating with a fun-loving group of women each week, making teddy bears for the police to give to children, and sewing nightgowns for children in the hospital. She helped raise money by making and donating her popular handbags to the Goebel center gift shop. She received a five-year service award for her work at the center.
Mary, who was proud of being independent, was often called “the Energizer bunny” because she kept active and had a curiosity for life. She loved children and living across the street from Los Cerritos Middle School, where her grandson now attends. Gardening, cooking, quilting, spending time with grandchildren, and making handmade gifts for friends and family kept her busy. She enjoyed reading biographies and would often read one book in a day or so. She even received her last driver’s license from the DMV right after her 100th birthday.
Her family will greatly miss this vibrant and loving woman. She will be honored at her Memorial being held at the Rose Family Mortuary Home located at 4444 Cochran Street Simi Valley, CA 93063 at 1:00 pm, Monday, March 18.
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4444 Cochran Street
Simi Valley, CA 93063
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