WALTER LEO RANKIN

Posted On January 4th, 2013 -

WALTER LEO RANKIN
B – Illinois 9 Feb 1920 D – California 10 October 2012 Leo, as he preferred to be called, filled his 92 years with honor, energy, humor and enthusiasm. He was married 66 years to Carolyn Cummings, of Colton, CA from 1939 until her death in 2005. They moved to Honolulu in 1946. He served his country with distinction during World War II, received Honorable Discharges from both the Army and the Navy and served at Consolidated Vultee Corporation (later Convair) in California and Australia, building, flying, maintaining and delivering WWII’s Liberator B24 in the War effort. He retired as Captain after a distinguished career flying for Hawaiian Airlines In Honolulu for 32 years (often delivering aircraft around the world) and later served Hawaiian as Vice President, Special Projects. In the early ’60s he took a few months’ leave from Hawaiian to fly for President Airlines, flying to major cities in Europe, the middle-East and Asia before returning to Hawaiian. For 60 years he enjoyed being a member of the QBs, Honolulu Hanger, a pilots’ organization he truly loved. His hobbies included traveling with his wife, auto racing, photography, Hawaiian jewelry design and production, everything “Apple,” and helping those less fortunate in Hawaii. He was past president of the Marguerite Gambo Wood Foundation, making major contributions to the Girl Scouts of Hawaii, the Pacific Air Museum Pearl Harbor and other organizations in Hawaii. He was Safety Chairman, State of Hawaii, Air Line Pilots Assn. for many years, and founder and past president Retired Hawaiian Airline Pilots (RHAP). He and Carolyn were active in many community organizations over their years in Hawaii, including Castle Medical Center of which Carolyn was a co-founder. Leo took his final flight in early December when his ashes were scattered South of Diamond Head from Hawaiian Airlines’ first aircraft, a restored 1929 Bellanca. Leo helped so many and was loved by all whose lives he touched. He will be truly missed. He is survived by his daughter, Barbara Rankin Arsenault, and his brother, Lee Rankin.


- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran