Howard D. Van Ranken 1952 ~ 2020

Howard Dean Van Ranken was born on February 26, 1951 in Anthony, Kansas to Horace Lee and Jennie Lee (Waldschmidt) Van Ranken, the first of five children.  He passed away unexpectedly, but peacefully on September 30, 2020 at the age of 69.  He is preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Roger Van Ranken.
Howard was raised on a dairy farm in the Waldron, Kansas area.  As he grew up, he learned how to work hard and get things done correctly the first time.  He also gained the philosophy, “work hard, play harder”, that he carried with him the rest of his life.  Howard was ornery and always had something up his sleeve.  You never knew exactly what to expect from him.  Howard attended Anthony High School and was in the graduating class of 1970.  During high school, Howard’s dedication to a job well-done helped him to excel in football and wrestling.
After high school, Howard pursued employment with City Service Natural Gas and in 1971 married Jane Duwe of Freeport, Kansas.  To this union was born Erica Janell.  Howard’s employment moved him to Ulysses, Kansas and in 1973, he married Susan Williams of Ulysses.  To this union was born, Rodney Lee and Rebecka Lynn.  In 1983, Howard moved his family back to Isabel, Kansas and began employment with National Gypsum.  In 1989, Howard married Loretta Dials.  His job transferred him to Phoenix, Arizona, where he and Loretta made a home in Chandler, Arizona.  Howard retired from National Gypsum in 2016.
Life with Howard was always an adventure.  You never knew where you were going to end up, but you knew getting there would be fun and the ride of your life.  He didn’t know a stranger. Once you met Howard, you were considered a friend and you felt it!
Howard had a love for motorcycles which was a large part of his life.  He loved to feel the wind on his face, view the colors and sites without a windshield to obstruct his view, and smell everything around him as he was going down the road.  He was happiest when he was on the bike.  Howard never had to have a set destination or reason for his adventures.  And rest assured, he could spot a Dairy Queen from a few miles away.  Howard encouraged Loretta to learn to ride her own bike and they traveled all over the United States together on motorcycles.
Howard had a multitude of friends that he loved, but he cherished his family the most.  He was proud of his children’s accomplishments and their ability to stand on their own as strong adults.  However, Dad’s wisdom and guidance will be greatly missed.  Surviving Howard’s loss will be difficult for all who knew him.
Left behind to cherish memories of Howard are his wife, Loretta of the home in Chandler; children: Erica Williams (Kerry) of Colwich, Kanas, Rodney Van Ranken (Corena) of Whitsett, North Carolina, and Rebecka Adams of St. Petersburg, Florida; siblings: Doug Van Ranken (Cindy) of Andover, Kansas, Ronnie Van Ranken (Cindy K) of Big Piney, Wyoming, Anita Bedwell (Pat) of Lake City, Kansas, and sister-in-law, Tonia Van Ranken of Medicine Lodge, Kansas; grandchildren: Courtney Meyer, Amanda Neiman, Kathrin Miller (Ethan), Kaylee Van Ranken (Josiah Kivin), Victoria Van Ranken, Rachelle Van Ranken, and Josie Adams; great-grandchildren, Ethan Stewart and Dawson Miller; numerous other relatives; and many friends.
Memorial Service was 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at the First Christian Church of Medicine Lodge with Pastor Tom Walters officiating.  The service was live streamed on the church's Facebook page and should still be available to view there. It can also be viewed with Howard’s obituary on the funeral homes’ website.
A private family inurnment took place at the Isabel Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Honor Flight and can be sent in care of the funeral home.  Prairie Rose Funeral Homes, 613 W 14th St ~ Harper, Kansas  67058.

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