Cover photo for Jeanette J. (D'hoey)  Rankin's Obituary
Jeanette J. (D'hoey)  Rankin Profile Photo
1930 Jeanette 2022

Jeanette J. (D'hoey) Rankin

September 14, 1930 — March 17, 2022


Jeanette Josephine D’hoey Rankin, of Sunburst, passed away March 17, 2022 after a sudden illness. Jeanette was born September 14, 1930 in Norway, Michigan to Belgian immigrant parents, Florent and Emily D’hoey. They moved to Montana in early childhood, and she attended schools in Billings, the Pioneer school and Colstrip. She was very grateful to the Catholic nuns for her early Christian education. Mom graduated high school from Shelby and completed her BS in Bacteriology at Montana State College. Jeanette had the highest grades of all freshmen women in 1948, recognized on a plaque in the MSU SUB. She met her husband George Rankin while attending Colstrip HS, taking classes from his sister Bertha Dean. Jeanette and George were married in Sunburst, MT in 1953 and had 4 children. They farmed and ranched together under West Butte of the Sweetgrass Hills until George’s death in 2018, where she remained until her death.  In 1954, she worked in the Shelby Brucellosis testing lab helping the state to eliminate the zoonotic disease from cattle. They were successful in the fur business raising chinchillas, improving the genetics of coat color, winning many awards. Together they used artificial insemination in their cattle herd to improve the performance of the Horned Herefords where they landed on raising Gelbvieh cattle which became Mom’s passion, creating a heritage herd. Jeanette and George went to Germany with a group of producers to see where  Gelbvieh Cattle originated.  She was inducted into the  American Gelbvieh Association’s Hall of Fame in 2014 and has been raising them for 49 years. Producers respected her honesty and integrity and her goal of making Gelbvieh cattle a high-performance breed. She loved pinochle, adventure and fast horses, ATV’s and cars and she got her pilot license at the age of 60!

Jeanette’s Christian Faith, family, music, and education were extremely important to her. She loved attending church, teaching Sunday School, and singing hymns in the choir.  Mom loved helping the underdog or disadvantaged and providing for her grandchildren’s and great grandchildren’s education.

She is survived by her four children, Kathy (Jim), Gary (Monica), Jeanne (Mary), and Bill (Cathy); seven grandchildren, Curtis, Anjeanette, Elissa, Rowan, Julia, Evan, and James; four great grandchildren, Bradley, Halie, Cassidy, and Sierra; many nephews and nieces. She was preceded in death by her husband, George Rankin; parents; sisters, Margaret, Josie, Joyce and Janice; brothers, Jeff and Jerome; and son-in-law, Carl Haas.

The family wishes to thank all of her friends, church community and all of the wonderful healthcare providers in Shelby, and Great Falls and the Glacier County EMS.  Services will be at the Lutheran Church of Sunburst at 2pm on March 26, 2022.

Memorials can be made to the National Right to Life Organization  or the Lutheran Church of Sunburst.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jeanette J. (D'hoey) Rankin, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm (Mountain time)

Lutheran Church of Sunburst

108 1st Avenue West, Sunburst, MT 59482

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