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Rosalie Grace Ranker
March 3, 1928 ~ June 19, 2023 (age 95) 95 Years Old
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Rosalie Grace Ranker, Ellsworth, passed away on Monday, June 19, 95-years-old at the Ellinwood District Hospital where her granddaughter Courtney works. Rosalie was born March 3, 1928 in Ellsworth to Frank and Rosalie (Bohl) Panzer. She was the ninth of ten children born to the union.
Rosalie completed grammar school through eighth grade at Walnut Grove country school, having to walk two miles, to and from school, even during the Dust Bowl. She graduated from the school of hard knocks, raised on a farm outside of Ellsworth during the Great Depression. The family lost their patriarch when Rosalie was two-years-old, and her mother raised eight children by living off the land. The family would put out a big garden, can all the vegetables they could, butcher livestock and preserve the meat, using a smokehouse on the property for hams and bacon. The family had no machinery like other farmers, and would hoe a corn crop by hand, and harvest feed for the animals with a sickle. When Rosalie was eight-years-old, she lost her six-year-old sister, Edith, to polio. They were best buddies.
Rosalie was a skilled seamstress, often winning top awards at the Ellsworth County Fair and donating items to local fundraisers. She taught herself to sew, after hijacking her mother’s sewing machine one day when her mother had gone to town. Rosalie ripped one of her own skirts apart, making a blouse with the fabric, and getting into big trouble when her mother returned from town. After that, her mother let her use the family sewing machine, and Rosalie purchased patterns and honed her skills as a seamstress. She leaves a legacy of sewing, teaching her daughter, Trudy, to sew in high school, who passed the skill down to Rosalie’s granddaughters, and then to Rosalie’s great-grandchildren. Rosalie’s children, daughter-in-law, grandkids and great-grandkids were gifted with personally sewn clothing and quilts throughout the years. Rosalie continued to sew into her 90’s.
Rosalie began her work life serving tables at her aunt Charlotte’s cafe. She worked at different restaurants, to afford the rent and bills she had living on her own in a room in the building where the turret is in downtown Ellsworth. She can remember sitting in the turret with other ladies living in the building, and watching people come out of the bar late at night. Rosalie was working at the Tucker Hotel in the dining room when she met Harold “Peck” Ranker, who was working at Kanopolis Lake. The crew would come in every morning for breakfast before going to work. Eventually, Peck asked Rosalie to a movie.
They were married on June 1, 1950. To this union was born two children, Trudy Kay Ranker and Randy Ray Ranker. Rosalie was a stay-at-home mom, until the mid-60’s, when Peck and Rosalie, in partnership with Jack Wondra, purchased a plumbing and heating business. Rosalie kept the books for the business. Rosalie is preceded in death by her husband, Harold “Peck” Ranker; parents, Rosalie Slaight and Frank Panzer; step-father, Ray Slaight; sisters, Edith, Mabel, Irene, Adeline, Mae and Viola; brothers, Frank and Gilbert; son-in law, John Lund and step-great grandsons, Kenny and Kyler Conally.
Survivors include her sister, LaVern Stroede, Belleville; children, Randy (Marie) Ranker, Ellsworth and Trudy Lund, Assaria; grandchildren, Leslie Manning, Gypsum; Emalie (Matt) Murdoch, Prairie Village; Joseph (Katie) Ranker, Ellsworth; Joshua (Amy) Ranker, Ellsworth and Courtney (Matt) Dillon, Ellinwood. Step grandchildren Jim Lund, Gypsum; Janelle (Andy) Thiel, Gypsum and Julie (Joey) Hanson, Salina; as well as 10 great-grandchildren, 10 step great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
Memorial contributions can be made in lieu of flowers to Ellinwood District Hospital or Immanuel Lutheran Church, Ellsworth, c/o, Parsons Funeral Home, PO Box 45, Ellsworth, KS 67439. Condolences can be left at parsonsfh.com