Cover photo for Robert Stanley Rankin, Jr. 's Obituary
Robert Stanley Rankin, Jr.  Profile Photo
1940 Robert 2021

Robert Stanley Rankin, Jr.

April 13, 1940 — May 24, 2021

Robert Stanley Rankin Jr., of Durham, died May 24, 2021 at the Pavilion at Croasdaile Village following an extended illness.
Born April 13, 1940 in Durham, he was the son of the late Dorothy Newsom Rankin and Robert Stanley Rankin. Bob attended Durham City Schools and graduated from Durham High in 1958. An excellent athlete, he played football, basketball and baseball throughout junior and senior high schools. He received his A.B. degree from Duke University in 1962 where he played on the freshman basketball team and the varsity baseball team for four years. Bob later said playing in the 1961 College World Series his junior year was a highlight of his athletic career. He received his LL.B. degree from Duke University Law School in 1965.
From 1966 through 1969 he was a captain and judge advocate in the U.S. Air Force. He then served as Assistant United States Attorney, District of Columbia, from 1970-75 and was in the law division of United Air Lines Inc. in Schaumburg, IL. He married the former Elizabeth Valliant in 1977 and moved to Salisbury, NC to join private practice. The two later divorced and Liz has since passed away.
Throughout his practice he was engaged in federal civil matters and corporate work. He was admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Military Appeals in 1967, U.S. District Court and U.S. Court of Appeals for District of Columbia in 1970, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1975 and the Illinois Supreme Court in 1977.
Bob spent much of his later years living in Durham cheering on his beloved Duke Blue Devils. He was rarely seen not wearing a Duke cap, holding a crossword puzzle and complimenting one of his kind caretakers.
Bob is survived by his son Robert Jeremiah Rankin and his wife Caddie of Easton, MD; his daughter Anna Rankin Ehrich and her husband Rob of Washington, DC; five grandchildren, Louise Matthews Rankin and Thomas Valliant Rankin of Easton and Walton Valliant Ehrich, Elizabeth Mae Ehrich and George Rankin Ehrich of Washington; his sister Battle Rankin Robinson of Georgetown, DE; and his nephew and niece and their families.
A memorial service will be held on June 2 at 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Durham. The family would like to thank the staff at Croasdaile Village for their loving support and friendship over many years. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Croasdaile Village ( or First Presbyterian Church (

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Memorial Service

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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