Sgt. John K. Rankel, 23, of Speedway, was killed in action June 7, 2010, while serving his country in Operation Enduring Freedom.
He was born July 28, 1986, in Anderson, to Trisha Stockhoff and Kevin Rankel. John attended the Speedway schools during elementary and moved into the Center Grove area through his sophomore year. In 2005, he graduated Speedway High School. During high school, he enjoyed sports and lettered in football, basketball and baseball. In August 2005, he followed his passion and joined the U.S. Marine Corps where he was stationed at Camp Pendleton, Calif. During his first enlistment, he deployed twice to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He re-enlisted in 2009 and was re-deployed to Afghanistan in April. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force. During his military career he was recognized for his dedication and hard work. He was meritoriously promoted to Private First Class during boot camp and was promoted to Sergeant by the age of 23. John received multiple Combat Action Ribbons, the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, the Afghanistan and Iraq Campaign Medals, multiple Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, and the Global War on Terrorism and National Defense Service Medals. He had also received three individual Certificates of Commendation during his service in the Marine Corps.
Sgt. Rankel is survived by his mother and stepfather, Don and Trisha Stockhoff; his father and stepmother, Kevin and Kim Rankel; two brothers, Nathan Stockhoff and Tyler Rankel; grandparents, Becky Hunt, Betty Mathew, Glenda Stockhoff, Leonard and Dorothy Ratcliff, Dan and Jina Clark and Steve York; uncle, John Mathew (Stacey); aunts, Carol Alfrey, Dawn Thomas (Tim), Brenda Inman (Tom), Candy Abercrombie (Tony) and Janet Smith. He is also survived by several cousins and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Vincent and Ethel Rankel and Robert Mathew.
Visitation will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday at Emmanuel Church of Greenwood, 1640 Stones Crossing Road, Greenwood. Visitation will continue from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Speedway High School, 5357 W. 25th St., Speedway, with funeral services beginning at 1 p.m. at the high school. Burial will follow in Crown Hill Cemetery.
To honor Sgt. Rankel, Governor Mitch Daniels has authorized the U.S. flag to be flown at half-staff in Johnson County on Friday and in Marion County on Saturday.
In lieu of flowers, the family has established a scholarship that will be awarded annually to survivors of fallen soldiers. Scholarship contributions can be sent to: Sgt. John K. Rankel Scholarship Fund, c/o Huntington National Bank, 45 N. Pennsylvania, Suite 200, Indianapolis, IN 46204 or can be dropped off at any Huntington National Bank branch. Those desiring to also send flowers should send them to Conkle Funeral Home, 4925 W. 16th St., Speedway, IN 46224.
Post online condolences at www.theheraldbulletin.com.