Almanac Online - Lasting Memories - Murle Ranney Rack's memorial

Murle Ranney Rack
Feb. 26, 1918-Aug. 16, 2014
La Jolla, California

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Murle Ranney Rack wife, mother of four and retired teacher and musician, passed away in La Jolla, California, surrounded by her loving family on Aug. 16, 2014 at the age of 96.

Murle was born in Dodge, North Dakota, on Feb. 26, 1918. She was the first of four daughters born to Cecil and Ruth Ranney. A graduate of Minot Teachers College, she had a fulfilling career as a English, math and band teacher.

Music was always a big part of Murle's life from a very young age when she played piano for a local radio station and dance studio and later founded a 32-member Drum and Bugle Corp in her parents' basement in Minot. The group won awards and toured the Midwest and Canada raising money for Girl Scouts. She also earned the coveted "Golden Eaglet" award in Girl Scouts. She always said that music took her to places she never would have seen and was able to go to summer camps in such exotic locations as Wisconsin because of her bugle-playing ability. She taught band and could play every band instrument.

During WWII she had a job with the Red Cross scheduling big name swing bands for American Red Cross and Army hospitals.

In 1945 Murle married the love of her life, Frank Rack from Cincinnati, Ohio, and they had four children. After the war they settled in San Francisco and then Palo Alto, where Murle was active in various civic activities such as Girl Scouts and Stanford International Center. With her husband Frank, she was an original founder of what is now Abilities United.

Murle was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Frank, and two of her daughters, Lynn Rack Franz and Betty Jane Rack, and her sister, Katheryn Stenehjem. She is survived by sisters, Elizabeth Littig and Mary Johnson of Arizona; daughter, Maureen Rack Lochtefeld of La Jolla; and son, Thomas Rack of Alameda -- as well as nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Murle was known for her quick laughter, warm hugs, love of family and friends, and her wonderful piano playing at family gatherings. She was warmly loved and will be greatly missed.

Tags: teacher/educator

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