James (Jim) D. Rankin, Sr.Morrilton, AR, 1943 - 2022
James (Jim) D. Rankin, Sr., 79, of Morrilton, passed away on December 6, 2022, after having been a successful businessman, husband, father, and the life of any party for many years. He was born November 23, 1943, in Richmond, Calif., to Alvin Barton Rankin and Minnie Mae Franklin Rankin. Jim graduated from Morrilton High School in 1961 and Arkansas Tech University in 1965, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics.
Upon graduation, Jim and his bride, Gloria Thompson Rankin, moved to New Orleans, La., where he worked as a computer programmer for Geophysical Service, Inc. (GSI), a subsidiary of Texas Instruments. Jim took a leave of absence from GSI in 1967 to teach at Morrilton Junior High School. He returned to GSI as a computer analyst assigned to overseas offices in Australia and Singapore.
In 1970, Jim moved his family back to Morrilton and formed Rankin Brothers Construction Co. with his brother, Don. With their father, Alvin, the brothers opened Rankin Builders Supply in 1972. After the partnership dissolved, Jim continued to manage the building supply store for 12 years. Over the years, Jim built apartments, homes, and duplexes. In 1978 he began a new venture with his father and brother when they opened a new motel in Morrilton. After selling that business, Jim and his father built a second motel in Morrilton which Jim operated until selling the business in 1994.
Jim was an avid hunter and bought land near Jerusalem, Ark., that he named the "Far as the Eye can See Ranch." It became the center of many happy memories for friends and family, including annual skeet shoots, legendary poker games, deer hunting, and four-wheeling extravaganzas. Later, Jim took up duck hunting with his son, Jim Jr., and enjoyed it as much as the triple trophies earned in deer hunting.
Jim enjoyed golf, camping, travelling, hiking, and snow skiing (which he didn't begin until he was 49). He was successful at everything he tried and enjoyed each and every day. Perhaps his greatest legacy, though, is the love, strength, and support he gave to his family and friends. This gift lives on through his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchild.
Jim was preceded in death by parents, his wife's parents, Leon and Bea Thompson, his son-in-law John Harrelson, and his grandson Jordan Harrelson. He is survived by his wife Gloria Thompson Rankin, daughter Tammera Rankin Harrelson, and son James (Joanna) D. Rankin, Jr., two grandchildren, Adam Harrison and Mitchell Harrelson, great-granddaughter Jenna Harrelson, one brother, Don (Jimmie-Dean), one brother-in-law, Louis (Debbie)Thompson, and many nieces, nephews, family members and friends.
The family wishes to thank Laura McCoy of Senior Companion, the staff of Brookridge Cove Rehabilitation and Care, and Hospice Home Care for the care and compassion given to Jim during the last months of his life.
Funeral services will be 2 p.m., Friday, December 9, 2022, at First United Methodist Church of Morrilton with Pastor Bill Sardin officiating. Burial will be at Elmwood Cemetery in Morrilton. Visitation will be one hour prior to service time at the church. Arrangements by Harris Funeral Home of Morrilton. Online guestbook: www.harrisfuneralhomes.net
Published December 8, 2022
OBITUARY SUBMITTED BY:
Harris Funeral Home, Inc.
118 South Moose Street, P.O. Box 439, Morrilton, AR