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Merle Jean (Wilson) Ranney passed away on May 17, 2021 at Rolla Health & Rehab in Rolla. She was born in 1930 to Rufus Combs Wilson and Berle Lucy (Wiley) Wilson in Monroe County, being the oldest daughter and having seven siblings. Merle grew up on a farm in Monroe County and graduated from Paris High School.
Merle married the late Royal William Ranney in 1950 and had two sons, Stevan Royal and the late Mark Wilson Ranney. She worked for over 40 years as the office manager, PR person and face of the Bishop Avenue Veterinary Clinic in Rolla, supporting the work of Royal (Bill) and Mark, both veterinarians serving the Rolla area. Prior to that, she worked as a bookkeeper, executive secretary and office manager for several organizations.
Merle was active in several clubs in Rolla, was a Cub Scout den mother, organized and served as president of DeMolay Mother’s Club, became a licensed pilot at the age of 55, was President of the MVMA Auxiliary in 1988 and served as Vice President of Public Relations on the AVMA Auxiliary. Her favorite years were spent assisting in the clinic – she loved pets but most of all, interacting with their owners. Merle Ranney never met a stranger.
Merle is survived by her son, Stevan; daughter-in-law, Yasmin; six grandchildren, three great-grandchildren; brothers Harold Wilson, Holliday, Howard and Bonnie Wilson, Shenandoah, Iowa; sisters Helen and Jack Davis, Mexico and Carol and J.D. Hedrick, Raytown; plus nephews and nieces. She was preceded in death by her husband (Royal), her son (Mark), her infant daughter (Theresa) and three brothers (Rudolph, Kenneth and Donald Wilson).
A memorial service will be held from 2 to 3:15 p.m. Saturday, September 25, at the First United Methodist Church, 803 N. Main St, Rolla.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the 2021 Ranney Run, which directly benefits the Rolla Animal Shelter.
Make checks payable to: The City of Rolla, with memo line: 2021 Ranney Run. Mail to: City of Rolla, Attn: Steffanie Rogers, PO Box 979, Rolla, MO 65402 To make an online donation, go to: https://ranneyrunfunwalk.itsyourrace.com, go to Fundraising/Donate, click Donate (on the right) and follow the prompts.