CHICOPEE – Robert E. “Bob” Ranck, 82, of the Fairview section of Chicopee, took “His Final Flight Home” on Thursday, January 26, 2017. He passed into Eternal Life at his home surrounded by the care and comfort of his loving family and his wonderful caregivers. He was born in Coatesville, Pennsylvania on November 20, 1934, a beloved son of the late Robert E. and Dorothy V. (Gray) Ranck.
He was raised in Coatesville and was a graduate of Coatesville High School. He enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1953 and proudly served his country during the Korean War and received the National Defense Service Medal. He later re-enlisted and traveled throughout the United States while in the military. In 1957, he was stationed at Westover Air Force Base in Chicopee and, in 1963, he ended his active duty status while he was stationed at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona.
He eventually settled in the Fairview section of Chicopee and enlisted in the United States Air Force Reserves at Westover where he was employed as a Radio Radar Technician for the Department of Defense.
He retired in 1984 after a long career in the Air Force with the rank of Technical Sergeant.
He remained true to his Air Force family, participating in a long battle to gain recognition of claims brought on behalf of aircrews and maintainers who flew and worked on post-Vietnam C-123K Agent Orange “spray birds” after it was discovered that these men and women were being diagnosed with Agent Orange diseases. After years of administrative battles and litigation, the Department of Veterans Affairs conceded the legitimacy of these claims and opened its system of medical care and other benefits to suffering veterans.
Active in his Catholic faith, he was a communicant of Saint Anne Church in Chicopee. During his younger years, Bob formed a band called the Music Makers where he was a drummer. In his later years, he met monthly with his friends who were known as “The Geezers” from Westover Air Reserve Base. Above all, Robert was a quiet man who loved spending time with his family and his wonderful friends.
He leaves his beloved wife and best friend, Elinor M. (Paul) Ranck. They were married on April 19, 1958 at Saint Anne Church in Chicopee and were blessed with over 58 years of happiness together.