Obituary: Father Ronald G. Rank

Father Ronald G. Rank

Father Ronald G. Rank, 84, of Marshall, passed away on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at his home in Marshall.

Father Ron was born on Aug. 26, 1932 in Chicago, Illinois, the son Joseph and Clara (Quavier) Rank. Father Ron attended St. Benedict Catholic Preparatory School through eighth grade. After attending St. Benedict Preparatory School in Chicago, Father Rank entered the Pontifical College Josephinum in Worthington, Ohio, where he studied philosophy and theology. Father Ron held education in the highest regard and he continued his education at the University of Wisconsin where he earned M.A.’s in Latin and Scripture, and at Salve Regina University, Rhode Island, where he earned an M.A. in Holistic Counseling. He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Amleto G. Cicognani, Apostolic Delegate to the United States on June 10, 1958 at St. Turibius Chapel, Pontifical College Josephinum, Worthington.

Father Rank began serving the Diocese of Madison as Parochial Vicar of St. Patrick Parish, Madison; St. Bernard Parish, Middleton; and St. Joseph Parish, Stoughton.  He was pastor of St. Clement Parish, Lancaster, and at St. Joseph Parish, Waterloo, from which he retired in 2002.

During his years of service to the Diocese of Madison, Father Rank served as assistant to the chancellor; instructor at Queen of Apostle Seminary and at Edgewood High School, Madison; faculty and dean of studies at Holy Name Seminary, Madison; and as an advisor to charismatic prayer groups throughout the diocese.  Father loved reading westerns, listening to classical music, studying scripture and running (lately walking).  He had a servant’s heart and used his knowledge of Holy Scripture to help point people to Christ.  He is known to say “Choose to believe what gives you life.”  His desire to connect with people brought deep meaning to his life.  Father Ron loved children and took great pleasure in seeing those kids grow. He will be dearly missed.

Father Ron is survived by his brother, George (Judy) Rank; nieces, Ananda (Toby Burnham) Kramer, Sheri Townley, Mary (Al) Gadomski, Kathy (Bruce) Cobb, and Jackie (Todd) Burch; nephews, Peter (Kathy Gibson) Kramer, Rob (Kit) Townley, George (Kathy) Rank and Joe Rank. He is also survived by a number of other relatives and many friends and clergy.

He is preceded in death by his parents; brother, Jack Rank; sister Margaret Kramer and sister Genevieve Townley; and nephew, Randy Townley.

Memorials in Father Ron’s honor may be made to Marshall or Waterloo libraries and Marshall or Waterloo EMTs.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 31, at St. Joseph’s Church of Holy Family Parish in Waterloo with Bishop Robert C. Morlino presiding. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until time of service at the church. Father Rank will be laid to rest at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery following the service.

Pederson-Nowatka Funeral Homes is caring for the family.  To place an online condolence, please visit

To plant a tree in memory of Ronald Rank as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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