COOPERSTOWN – Barbara J. Rankin, 74, who worked for Icelandair for 27 years, passed away peacefully Saturday morning, October 12, 2019, at their home on Brooklyn Avenue in Cooperstown.
Born July 1, 1945, in Chippewa Falls, Wisc., Barbara was the only child of the Rev. Robert J. and Margaret (née Marohn) Koch. Her father and maternal and paternal grandfathers were Lutheran ministers, so it was only natural that Barbara was raised in the Lutheran faith and traditions.
Due to her father’s various church assignments, she and her parents moved several times in her youth throughout Wisconsin. When her father had the opportunity to lead a church in California (a prospect he liked as he had grown tired of Wisconsin winters) it was Barbara’s deciding vote that led them there.
After graduating from high school in California, Barbara attended Cabrillo College, and later earned her bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State University. While she was in college, she took some time off to travel throughout Europe.
She found that she really loved to travel, and eventually became a stewardess for Pan Am. As she was fluent in German, she was often assigned the overseas trips to Europe. This career ultimately led her to become a well-liked sales representative for several major airlines. She eventually was employed for 27 years with Icelandair, and retired from there on June 17, 2011 (Icelandic National Day).
While living and working in New Jersey, Barbara met John Rankin, and the two were united in marriage March 22, 1986, in Watsonville, California, with Barbara’s father officiating. When they lived in Pennsylvania, where John was employed for 27 years in the Pocono Mountain School District, they attended St. Mark’s Community Lutheran Church in Appenzell. After visiting Cooperstown several times, Barbara and John grew to love the area. So in 2012, they purchased their home on Brooklyn Avenue in Cooperstown, and moved there full time in 2016.
Barbara’s faith in God was an important part of her life. Soon after moving to Cooperstown, she became an active, devoted and faithful member of the First Presbyterian Church of Cooperstown, where she enjoyed singing with the Chancel Choir, as well as serving on the Worship Team and as a Deacon. Her quiet, gentle presence at First Presbyterian will be greatly missed by all who came to know and love her during her all too brief time with the congregation.
Barbara is survived by her devoted husband, John Rankin of Cooperstown, who steadfastly helped Barbara fight her battle with cancer. He is grateful to the many, many people who helped Barbara during her illness.
A Service to the Glory of God and in Thanksgiving for the life of Barbara J. Rankin will be offered at 4 p.m. Monday, October 21, 2019, in the First Presbyterian Church of Cooperstown, with the Rev. Elsie A. Rhodes, pastor officiating. The service of committal will follow at The Columbarium in the Churchyard of the First Presbyterian Church. Following the services there will be a time for refreshment and fellowship in The Chapel.
As a way to remember Barbara, please consider a memorial donation to the American Cancer Society, 13 Beech Street, Johnson City, NY 13790.
Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.