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Township names Elmira street in memory of Richard Rank

The Township of Woolwich dedicated an intersection in an Elmira subdivision to Richard Rank at a ceremony Aug. 31 in front of his family, friends and township contingency. Among those in attendance were Roxanne Rank, Kyle Rank, Caelen Rank, Mayor Sandy Shantz, Deby Rank and Garrett Rank. [Ali Wilson / The Observer]
The Township of Woolwich dedicated an intersection in an Elmira subdivision to Richard Rank at a ceremony Aug. 31 in front of his family, friends and township contingency. Among those in attendance were Roxanne Rank, Kyle Rank, Caelen Rank, Mayor Sandy Shantz, Deby Rank and Garrett Rank. [Ali Wilson / The Observer]
The Township of Woolwich dedicated an intersection in an Elmira subdivision to Richard Rank at a ceremony Aug. 31 in front of his family, friends and township contingency. Among those in attendance were Roxanne Rank, Kyle Rank, Caelen Rank, Mayor Sandy Shantz, Deby Rank and Garrett Rank. [Ali Wilson / The Observer]
The Township of Woolwich dedicated an intersection in an Elmira subdivision to Richard Rank at a ceremony Aug. 31 in front of his family, friends and township contingency. Among those in attendance were Roxanne Rank, Kyle Rank, Caelen Rank, Mayor Sandy Shantz, Deby Rank and Garrett Rank. [Ali Wilson / The Observer]
A former Woolwich employee and prominent minor sports booster who passed away three years ago now has a lasting memorial.

Family and friends gathered in Elmira’s South Parkwood subdivision August 31 for the dedication of Richard Rank Road.

Rank passed away Jan. 3, 2014 at the age of 57 after suffering a heart attack at work, where he had had a 25-year-career in the township’s public works department.

“Everyone  knew him, but more importantly he knew everyone,” said Mayor Sandy Shantz at the ceremony. “He was a friend to everyone.”

Rank was described as genuine, enthusiastic and dedicated to his community.

“Richard made many valuable contributions to the community,” she said.

Beyond his job with the township, Rank was lauded for his outstanding community involvement and general positive hardworking attitude that left a gaping hole in the community after his passing.

Rank attended Elmira District Secondary School, where he met and later married his high school sweetheart Deby. They raised three children, Kyle, Garrett and Caelen, in Elmira.

His younger son, Garrett Rank – an amateur golfer and NHL referee – spoke of the memories he had of his father and the dedication to the community that was shown at home.

“It brings back a lot of memories of my father. Honestly, it is a really cool honour to have a street named after him,” he said. “A lot of the times when the phone would ring for hockey games up at the arena that needed an official or the early mornings or late nights that he was out plowing snow, those are the kind of the moments that you look back and realize all that he gave to the community.”

Over his years in the community, Rank was a frequent referee and avid hockey dad – a fund was set up in his memory to help support families who cannot afford to send their children to hockey.

Back in 2015, a referees room at the Woolwich Memorial Centre was dedicated to Rank.

“And today we would like to take this opportunity to dedicate the naming of Richard Rank Road as part of the newest subdivision in Elmira developed by Birdland Developments,” said Shantz.

The Richard Rank Road will be home to new detached homes, intersecting Woodberry Crescent in the south end of Elmira.

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