James C. Rankin

September 30, 1938 ~ September 14, 2019 (age 80)


James (Jim) C. Rankin

Jim Rankin, age 80 of Kent, died peacefully at his home Saturday, September 14th 2019.

Born September 30, 1938 in Cleveland to Easton and Elizabeth (Yea) Rankin, Jim grew up in Mentor Headlands and attended Mentor High School where he played baseball and football. He was an acclaimed baseball catcher and an accomplished switch hitter. Also, for those four years, Jim played on football teams that went undefeated. Jim and his teammates were induced in the Mentor High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

After high school graduation in 1956, Jim was invited to try out for the Cleveland Indians. Jim also attended Baldwin Wallace College where he met his best friend and wife of 58 years, Judith Rankin. He played football at BW under the head coach, Lee Tressel, who was also Jim’s Mentor High School coach. 

After college, Jim began his professional career as a draftsman at the Colonial Machine Company in Kent, where he worked his way up the ranks. He worked many positions and ultimately became owner and president. In 2002, Jim retired from Colonial Machine after 42 years.

Jim was an active member of Twin Lakes Country Club, where he enjoyed making bets and taking money from his friends both on the golf course or at the card table. Jim was passionate about many things:  Cleveland sports, reading, and illustration – where his natural talent for drawing personalized cartoon characters delighted his friends and family.  Jim was a classic car enthusiast  and loved his red Thunderbird convertible. In his later years, Big Jim enjoyed relaxing in his La-Z-Boy with Lucy, his dog and devoted companion.  We will all fondly remember his friendliness and quick wit.

A loving husband, father and grandfather; James is survived by his wife Judith Rankin; son, Mike (Amy) Rankin; daughter, Dee Rankin; granddaughters, Lily, Josie, and Cami Rankin; brother, Geoffrey Rankin; and sister, Janice Rankin. He was preceded in death by his parents, Easton and Elizabeth (Yea) Rankin; and sister, Constance Rankin.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, September 29th at The Fairways at Twin Lakes, from 4:00pm-6:30pm. Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association. To share a Memory or Send a Condolence, visit the Tribute Wall at

To send flowers to James' family, please visit our floral section.


Celebration of Life
September 29, 2019

4:00 PM
Fairways at Twin Lakes
1540 Overlook Road
Kent, OH 44240

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