RANKIN, Rev. Wil­liam F. ‘Bill’

Glace Bay

Cape Breton Post - - IN ME­MO­RIAM -

Fa­ther Bill Rankin passed away peace­fully and en­tered the King­dom of Heaven on July 11, 2015, with his lov­ing fam­ily and friends at his side.

Born in Glace Bay, he was the son of the late Bert and Kath­leen (MacGil­livray) Rankin.

Bill at­tended St. Anne’s School for his en­tire school­ing; start­ing from pri­mary to el­e­men­tary, then ju­nior high to high school, which cul­mi­nated in June of 1955 with his grad­u­a­tion from high school. In ad­di­tion to be­ing an out­stand­ing scholar and se­nior class pres­i­dent, he was a multi-tal­ented ath­lete; play­ing rugby, hockey, bas­ket­ball and was a mem­ber on sev­eral cham­pi­onship teams.

After grad­u­at­ing from se­nior high, he con­tin­ued right on to St. Fran­cis Xavier Univer­sity, where he earned his BA de­gree in 1959 and his B.Ed. in 1960. Bill’s high­light of those years was be­ing a part of the Col­le­gians Singing Quar­tet and the Var­sity 4 St. FX Quar­tet.

He then at­tended Holy Heart Sem­i­nary in Hal­i­fax, where he stud­ied for and achieved his Bach­e­lor of The­ol­ogy De­gree. On May 23, 1964, Bill was or­dained to the priest­hood at St. Ninian’s Cathe­dral, Antigo­nish.

Fr. Bill’s first ap­point­ment as a priest in 1964 was to St. Agnes par­ish in New Water­ford. The fol­low­ing year he was trans­ferred to the Star of the Sea par­ish in Canso and St. Agnes par­ish in Lit­tle Dover. From 1965-1967 he took the on the triple parishes of St. Joseph’s, Bras d’Or; St. Anne’s, Alder Point; and St. Joachim, South Side Boularderie.

Dur­ing the years 1967-1970, he worked with St. FX Ex­ten­sion Dept. in the field of co-op housi n g , and he a l so worked in Im­mac­u­late Heart par­ish, Mira Road, Syd­ney.

In 1970, he taught English at Park Ju­nior High, Syd­ney, for one year and was later ap­pointed to Mount Carmel par­ish, New Water­ford for six years, dur­ing which in 1972 he re­ceived his Masters of Arts De­gree in psy­chol­ogy. In 1976, he at­tended Catholic Univer­sity in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. for a year study­ing pas­toral min­istry. For the next num­ber of years he served in the parishes of Holy Fam­ily, MacKay’s Cor­ner; St. Lawrence Par­ish, Mul­grave; St. Fran­cis and St. Fran­cis Har­bour, Guys­bor­ough County; Christ the King par­ish, Tren­ton; and Our Lady of Per­pet­ual Help par­ish, Pic­tou Land­ing; at this par­ish he was greatly hon­oured to re­ceive from the Mi’kmaq com­mu­nity there, the title of Honorary Chief and given the name “White Ea­gle.”His last ap­point­ment was at St. Michael’s par­ish, River Ryan, re­tir­ing in 1998 due to health rea­sons. In all of his parishes he was al­ways very ac­tive in their church choirs and their youth groups.

Through­out his life, Fr. Bill was an avid hunter, fish­er­man and trap­per, en­joy­ing th­ese sports in Cape Bre­ton, Antigo­nish, Pic­tou County and he cher­ished all the friend­ships he de­vel­oped over th­ese years. In his re­tire­ment he had sev­eral hunting ex­pe­di­tions with his very good friend Bobby McVeigh through­out Canada, the U.S. and the high­light was in the Scot­tish High­lands.

For the last num­ber of years he was still ac­tive help­ing out in parishes in Pic­tou County.

Rev. Bill Rankin will be sadly missed by his lov­ing fam­ily; brother Joe (Effie), Cox­heath; nephew Bill (Dana) Rankin, and their fam­ily Me­lanie, Alexis and Matthew, from Ed­mon­ton, Alta.; niece Lisa (Fadey) Abidaoud and their fam­ily Daniel and Re­nee, from Doha, Qatar. He will also be missed by cousins and nu­mer­ous friends.

Be­sides his par­ents, he was pre­de­ceased by an in­fant sis­ter, Mar­garet Mary.

Vis­i­ta­tion for Fr. Bill Rankin will be held Tues­day, July 14, 2015, from 7-9 p.m. and Wed­nes­day from 2-4 p.m., in V.J. McGil­livray Fu­neral Home, 16 Reserve St., Glace Bay. A prayer vigil will be held at St. Anne’s Church, Wed­nes­day evening at 7 p.m. The fu­neral mass will be cel­e­brated 11 a.m. on Thurs­day, July 16, 2015, at St. Anne’s Church, Glace Bay, with Bishop Brian Dunn of­fi­ci­at­ing with priests of the dio­cece con­cel­e­brat­ing.

In­ter­ment will be in the par­ish ceme­tery. A lun­cheon will fol­low in the church foyer.

Me­mo­rial dona­tions in Fr. Bill’s mem­ory may be made to the Cana­dian Cancer So­ci­ety, the Heart and Stroke Foun­da­tion or a char­ity of choice.

On­line con­do­lences to the fam­ily are avail­able through www.vjm­cgillivray.ca.

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