Philip Rankin, a computer programmer who previously served in the US Navy aboard the USS New York City, passed away in Knoxville, TN after a valiant battle against lung cancer. Due to the extraordinary efforts from the caregivers at UT Knoxville Hospice and Phillip’s brother David, his wife Susan, and their son Drew, Philip passed away peacefully at his brother’s home on July 16, 2018 while holding the hand of his loving wife and surrounded by his mother, brother, and other family members. Philip was predeceased by his father Gordon Rankin, and survived by his wife Debra Rankin, mother Lillian Edwards, brother Dr. David Rankin and his wife Susan, his sister Susan Marie Rankin, nephews Bennett Smith, Christopher Rankin, and Drew Rankin, and nieces Melanie McCown and Jamie Berra, along with other family and close friends. Phillip was also going to be a great uncle within the next few months. Philip was born in Johnson City, TN in 1955 and attended Science Hill High School and went on to receive a bachelor degree from ETSU. Philip joined the Navy shortly after high school and upon returning home right from boot camp, he married Debra Lockhart (after just three dates), whom he had met at ETSU and who was the love of his life. Philip and Debra traveled throughout the country together during Philip’s time in the Navy and after his discharge, Philip pursued a career in computer science, settling down in the in the Atlanta, Georgia metro area. Philip always maintained a love of the ocean and enjoyed boating, cruises, and water sports. He was an avid problem-solver and home fix-it man who always loved working on cars and home projects. He was a fan of the DIY network and as he always preferred having the right tool for the job, had an extensive tool collection. Over the years, Philip taught many family and friend how to become handy while always stressing to have a keen respect for safety. During the last months, Philip greatly appreciated spending time helping his nephew Drew and Philip’s brother David completing home projects and enjoying farm life. Philip, having an impressive baritone voice, also enjoyed music and hosting karaoke with his wife and their close friends. He was a spiritual man and always offered to help and teach others. He had an infectious smile and will be deeply missed by his friends, family, colleagues, and all who knew him. A celebration of life service is scheduled for family and friends at the Calvary Baptist Church in Knoxville, located at 3200 Kingston Pike, at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 21 with the family receiving visitors starting at 2:00 p.m. in the church sanctuary. Reverend Dan Riley will officiate. Given Philip was a dedicated and proud veteran, the family would request, for those who want to share their condolences in lieu of flowers, for donations to the Disabled Veterans of America or the American Cancer Society.
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