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Merlene E. Rank__________________

December 9, 1926 - June 16, 2014

Merlene Elizabeth Rank, age 87, Rapid City, S.D., passed away Monday June 16, 2014 at Rapid City Regional Hospital.
Merlene was born on December 9, 1926, in Rapid City to Clarence and Margarite (Pitz) Root of Midland. She was raised in Midland and graduated from Midland High School in 1945.
Merlene married Thurman Rank on December 14, 1946, in Midland. The couple made their home in the Rapid City area from 1957 to 1972. From 1972 until Thurman’s death in 1993, they lived and ranched in the Hermosa area. She spent the last years of her life in Rapid City at Fairmont Grand Manor.
Merlene worked for Northwestern Bell Telephone Co. in Midland, Rapid City and Belle Fourche. She also worked in various grocery stores in Rapid City, and at the Alex Johnson Hotel as desk clerk and relief night auditor.
Merlene leaves a legacy of love for her Lord and her family. They meant everything to her. She took comfort in weekly visits from her church minister who brought her communion. Her family found the same comfort in the visits to the hospital with communion for them. A prayer Merlene often thought of was, “Dear Lord, help me to remember that there is always someone out there in the world who has more pain, more worries, more fears, and more heartaches than I do. God bless that person.”
Merlene is survived by her two children, Craig Rank, San Antonio, Texas, and Barbara Foster (Jim), Apache Junction, Ariz.; seven grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; her brother, Jim Root (Jessie), Philip, and her sister, Karen Helmer (Eldon), Prescott Valley, Ariz., and other family members close to Merlene were Marcia Werner, Rapid City, and Connie Moon-Oihus, Rapid City.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Thurman Rank; a son, Larry Rank; her parents; her brother, Donny Root; and her sister, Phyllis Root.
Memorials have been established to benefit Faith Lutheran Church or the VFW Auxiliary.
Services were held Thursday, June 19, at Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home, with Rev. Bruce Baum officiating.
Interment was Friday June 20. at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.