A great man, an inspiration.
Bob Rankin was a very happy and confident man. He was dearly loved by his wife, Marie, two children, Bobby and Jean and four grandchildren, Riley, Maggie, Raymond and Sammy.
He was born in Oklahoma City on September 5th, 1945. When he was nine years old, the family moved to Sidney Nebraska following the oil fields. Jean Rankin, Bob’s mother, started teaching math at the high school. Not long after the move, his father left the family, leaving Jean to raise six children on a teacher’s wage. It was not easy for any of them, but as soon as the children could work, they did. David, five years older than Bob, was already mowing lawns and became Bob’s father figure. In his eyes, David could do no wrong. Many of us would agree to that. At a young age, Bob would set pins at the local bowling alley, mow lawns, and shovel snow off the walkways. Getting a little older, 15 or so, he would sack groceries at the grocery store. He would tell stories of how he would have to iron his own white shirt. Bet that was a sight.
One summer, he and his friend, John Lindsey, acquired a job of mowing and cleaning up well sites. In Sidney these well sites were 20 or 30 miles out in the country. Once, the Foreman dropped the two boys off, went back to town, got drunk and forgot about them. Around 10 or 11 that evening, John’s father discovered they were missing and picked them up.
Jean, Bob’s mother was always held close to Bob’s heart. He loved and admired her. Bob wanted everyone to know about his mother he was so proud of. A single woman, raising six children, full time math teacher, and while teaching, took on the higher education program when it first started. She would teach these classes at night, for the extra money, and taught them till she was 90 years old. In 1998, she was the recipient of the Edgar C. Easley Award for the National Outstanding Adult Education teacher of the year and graduated over 4000 students from this program. This might have been where Bob got his drive and perseverance.
Bob and David hunted duck and pheasants, bring everything home for his mother to cook. Bob would say, even with all the hardships, that he had a wonderful childhood.
At nineteen years of age, Bob met Marie and they fell in love and got married. Then, shortly after, had two kids, Bobby and Jean. Working as a roughneck on a Drilling Rig, he would work seven days a week with only a holiday off, here or there. They moved all over the place, Sidney Nebraska, Chickasha Oklahoma, Fort Morgan Colorado and Lamar Colorado. Even lived and worked overseas living in Malta, Spain, Turkey, and Iran. Bob would fly into Algeria, Libya, and offshore in the Persian Gulf. While in Iran, the uprising of the people against the Shah was heating up and five Rockwell International personnel were executed. Bob got him and his family out on the next flight home.
That’s when he discovered directional drilling. Bob was good at it. Such as displacing a well over 5000’ from the drilling rig and drilling it with air. Cutting holes in existing casing by setting a whipstock, milling a window to complete the directional work out of this slot he had cut.
In short succession, he started his own company with Marie as secretary. Bobby joined in after attending the University of Oklahoma. At first, tools were rented from other companies especially the downhole drilling motor. Bob decided that they should start making their own. He enlisted Bobby’s help. Bobby designed the bearing pack and then purchased the power section (rotors and stators from other companies). Then Bob asked Bobby if they could make rotors and Stators. Bobby told him that there was an art form to calculation in getting all the contour correct. Bob said you can do it since he thought Bobby could figure anything out. They did figure it out and they started to manufacture the drilling motors, not just for their own work but to other drillers.
The pride and joy of Bob’s life was his business, American Directional Technology or Adtech as they call it, located in Wayne, Oklahoma. He was so proud of everyone that works there. He was so thankful that he could just pop in and everything would be running smoothly. The following are the people Bob would see at the shop every week day:
At his home and shop, just outside of Wayne, Bob had put up Purple Martin bird houses. He had five houses with 32 apartments. Last year, he figured that the birds had 100 babies. Whistling, fishing, and taking care of the Purple Martins, were some of Bobs favorite pastimes.
For the last 3 to 4 years, we'd seen Bob fighting a painful battle. At times, he would heal in one spot and start hurting in another. During this time, thinking things might not get better, Marie and Bob would discuss many things including if one of them would pass away. They had made some preparations, decisions, and peace within.
Bob will be missed, both by his family and his many friends. Our memories of him will go on, always in our hearts. In our grief we know that you are in heaven. We commend him to your loving hands God. Thank you for giving us him. May his soul rest in peace.