Herbert M. Ranks, 82, former fire chief of the Chicopee Fire Department in Buxton, passed away at his home on January 29, 2019. He was born in South Portland on May 14, 1936, the son of the late Eugene and Evelyn (Farrar) Ranks.
He attended Buxton schools, including the S.D. Hanson High School.
Herbert began his working years as a plumber for Harold Bent of Gorham. He later part-owned a paving company with Lewis Crockett of Buxton. He also worked for Lombard Plumbing and Heating in Windham, and Northeastern General Contractors in Standish. In 1983, he started Ranks Plumbing, Heating and Electric. The last few years working alongside his good friend Cliff Thomas.
Herbert dedicated over 60 years of his life in service to his community with the fire department. He was the former chief of the Chicopee Fire Department and became a deputy chief for the Town of Buxton Fire and Rescue after the individual fire departments merged together. He also served as the Town Forest Fire Warden, and a Town of Buxton Constable.
Herbert was also active in the Civil Air Patrol, Civil Defense, the Masons in Standish, a song leader for his church, and was a director for the Pine Grove Cemetery Association in Buxton.
He enjoyed hunting, dancing, skiing, camping, cooking, and the camaraderie of the fire department. What we will all remember most about Herbert was his beautiful singing voice, and how he would randomly burst into song for anyone who would listen.
He is predeceased by his beloved wife, Joanna (Beesley) Ranks; and sisters- Ruth Leavitt and Barbara Brown.
Herbert is survived by his children, Douglas E. Ranks and his wife Deborah of Buxton, Kristi Dearborn and her husband Ronald of Buxton, and Eugene P. Ranks and his wife Cheryl of Buxton; sisters, Lillian Schoonmaker of Alaska, Dorothy Jones of Gorham, and Gwendolyn Hatch of Buxton, and his sister-in-law Mary (Betty) McGinn of West Enfield, Maine; grandchildren, Aaron Ranks, Tori Durgin, Jessica Dearborn, Justin Dearborn, Danielle Ruffino, Lindsay Dearborn, and Alan Ranks; and great grandchildren, Perry Lee Durgin and Cameron Dearborn, many nieces and nephews, cousins, and more friends than we could count.
Visiting hours will be held on Friday, February 1, 2019 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm, at the West Buxton Baptist Church, 62 Parker Farm Road in Buxton. A funeral service will be held at 1:00 pm on February 2, 2019 at the West Buxton Baptist Church. Burial will be in the spring at Pine Grove Cemetery in Buxton.
If you choose to make a memorial donation in lieu of flowers, please consider The South Portland Church of Christ, PO Box 2245, South Portland, ME 04106.