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1928 Bobby 2020

Bobby G Ranard

August 16, 1928 — August 22, 2020

Bobby G. Ranard, 92

Bobby G. Ranard passed away calmly and peacefully at his home in Grand Island on Saturday, August 22nd, 2020, just six days after celebrating his 92nd birthday.

Bobby Gene was born on August 16, 1928 to Oren L. and Mabel G. (Pitts) Ranard at their family home in Giltner, Nebraska. He was baptized at a young age at the Presbyterian Church in Giltner, and at 16 years of age he was baptized by immersion at the Christian Church in Aurora, Nebraska. During his Junior year at Giltner High School, he began a courtship with Betty Arlene Hunnicutt that would eventually blossom into marriage. After graduating from high school in 1945 at the age of 16, Bobby took many paths to complete his advanced education, including York College, the International Correspondence School of Berkley, California, and Kearney State College. During this time, Bobby and his father also had a business traveling from town to town showing evening movies outside in parks and parking lots, projecting the films onto makeshift screens or on the sides of buildings, all from the back of a truck or a flatbed trailer.

After Bobby and Betty were married on October 22, 1948, he was employed in many different capacities in the field of electrical service and management, Engineering, and the schematic design of power and lighting grids, many of which are still in full operation today. Positions held in Aurora and Lincoln eventually paved the way in 1963 for an opportunity to help start an Engineering Division for the Grand Island Utilities Department. In 1983, Bobby was named Assistant Director of Utilities, retiring in 1992 after nearly 30 years of dedicated service.

After retirement, Bobby took the position as Director of the Grand Island Housing Authority for four years, overseeing the construction of 24 homes for low and moderate-income families while simultaneously serving on the board of the Federal Home and Loan Bank of Topeka, Kansas, meeting quarterly in a 4-state area. He also served in many capacities as a faithful employee at Kleine Funeral Home in Grand Island.

Bobby served as Worshipful Master of the Aurora Masonic Lodge #68 and was a member of the Ashlar Masonic Lodge #33 and O.E.S. #41 in Grand Island. He was a member of several Boards and Councils at the First Christian Church and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Grand Island, and was Chairman of the Hall County Housing Authority for many years. Bobby served as President of the Wasmer Elementary School P.T.A. and was given a Lifetime Membership. He was particularly proud to serve as Chairman of a project to build a new Family Life Center at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, after which time he was playfully given the “No Flat Roof In My Lifetime” Award.

Naturally blessed with a beautiful singing voice, Bobby started sharing his talents at a very early age and continued doing so throughout most of his life, providing music for weddings, funerals, worship services, and many other events, even eventually starting piano lessons in his early 50s. Bobby especially enjoyed being in a musical group with his nieces called “Three Peaches and a Prune.” In addition, Bobby was a very skilled electrician, carpenter, woodworker, roofer, painter, and handyman, able to leap leaky faucets and electrical panels in a single bound. Even with all of these gifts, Bobby continued to be humble, gracious, full of humor, and so very appreciative of his family and the people around him.

Bobby is survived by his children: Jo Ellen Weber (Thomas); Susan Kay McTavish (Douglas); Julie Ann Melnick; and Jon Eric Ranard. Also left to cherish his memory are his Grandchildren: Erin (Cory) Heidelberger and their daughter Katarzyna; Patrick (Emily) Weber; Sally Sadd and her children Laikin, Libby (Andrew Larsen), and Lexi (Blake Grossart); Luke (Kate) McTavish and their children Caitlyn, Gavin, Rebecca, and Daniel; Jason Ranard; Joshua (Katie) Weber and their children Thomas, Caroline, and Steven; Christopher (Ashley) Weber and their daughter Evelyn.

Additional surviving family members are his treasured sister, Judy Hosier (Darrell); sisters-in-law Marleen Caspersen (Marvin) and Lucille Hunnicutt; brother-in-law, Harvey Bish (Jo), and many nieces and nephews. Preceding him in death were Betty, his beloved wife of 71 years; his Parents, Parents-in-Law, and Grandparents; brothers Junior, Lester, and Clayton Ranard, and his sister and brother-in-law Dorothy (Bob) Hawthorne. Also preceding him in death were sisters-in-law Bonnie Ediger (Keith Ernst and Elvin Ediger), Verla Bachman (Earl), Virginia Bish, and Charlotte Hawthorne; brothers-in-law Loren Hunnicutt (Doris), Keith Hunnicutt (Louise), Gerald Hunnicutt, and nieces and nephews.

In light of Covid-19 concerns, a combined Celebration of Life Service for Bobby and Betty will be held at a later date.

Memorials are suggested to the family, and online condolences may be shared at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bobby G Ranard, please visit our flower store.


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