Winton Blair Rankin died May 26, 2015, in Raleigh, North Carolina, at the age of 98. He was a resident of Zebulon, North Carolina, from 1975 to 2006, when he moved to the Springmoor Retirement Community. Winton was born October 26, 1916, in Bessemer City, North Carolina, to James Daniel Rankin and Tula Abernathy Rankin, and spent his childhood in Boone, North Carolina, where his father was a Methodist minister and later was head of the English department, Dean, and President of Appalachian State Teacher's College.
Winton earned a B.S. in Math and Science from Appalachian State Teachers College in 1935, a B.S. in Pharmacy from the Ferris Institute of Big Rapids, Michigan, in 1937, and a M.S. in Agricultural Chemistry from North Carolina State College in Raleigh in 1939. In 1965, the Ferris Institute granted him an honorary doctorate.
He began as a pharmacist in Wilson, NC, then joined the Food and Drug Administration in 1940 as a seafood inspector. He worked his way up to Deputy Commissioner of the FDA in 1966, then he was appointed Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Health and Scientific Affairs. He retired in 1972 at age 55.
Winton was a member of the United Methodist Church in Zebulon, where he was Chairman of the Finance Committee, member of the Pastor-Parish Committee, Chairman of the Permanent Endowment Committee, Chairman of the Stewardship Committee, and a member of the Administrative Board. He taught adult Sunday School for many years. He was Layperson of the Year in 1989 and 1990, and Layperson of the Year of the Raleigh District of the NC Methodist Conference in 1990. He was also Secretary, Treasurer, Vice-President and President of the Zebulon Rotary Club.
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In his retirement years, Winton enjoyed investing in stocks and bonds, fishing, woodworking, rock hounding, lapidary and especially gardening.
He was married to Edith Griffin Rankin from August 27, 1938, to her death November 29, 1997. At age 81, he married Corinna Cole Wilson Rankin. She died October 22, 2013.
Winton is survived by his son James Winton Rankin, and wife JoAnne, of Kenilworth, Illinois; his son Walter Neal Rankin, of Panama City, Florida; his grandchildren Patrick David Muir of Colorado Springs, Colorado; Jennifer Lynn Muir Stompor, and her husband Stephen, of Golden, Colorado; Thomas James Rankin, and his wife Nicki, of Burbank, California; William Joseph Rankin and his wife Meredith Mira, of New Haven, Connecticut; Elizabeth Jeanne Rankin of Seattle, Washington; his great-grandson Benjamin Stephen Stompor of Golden, Colorado; and his great-granddaughter Quill Margaret Rankin Mira.
Also preceding him in death were his brother Charles Elmer Rankin, his sister Ruth Rankin Rutherford, and his daughter Mary Anne Rankin Muir.
Funeral service 11 am, Tuesday, Zebulon United Methodist Church with visitation from 10-11 am, prior to the service. Burial will follow in Gethsemane Memorial Gardens.
Arrangements are with Strickland Funeral Home, 211 W. Third St., Wendell. www.stricklandfuneralhomes.net