• 48°

R. Kenneth Ranson Popular Merchant Dies January 15

R. Kenneth Ranson, Dillwyn, co-owner of Ranson Brothers Store and Chief Magistrate for the 10th District of Virginia died Friday, January 15, 2010 after a lengthy illness. He was born November 8, 1920.

He was a charter member of the Buckingham Fire Department and Lions Club. He worked briefly on the Blue Ridge Parkway and during WWII he lived with his wife, Irene, in Blackstone and worked as a plumber's apprentice and bus driver at Camp Pickett. During the week he worked with the plumbers at the camp and on the weekends drove the troops to D.C. for some R and R.

Mr. Ranson returned to Dillwyn in the late 40's and went into business with his brother, Samuel, and opened Ranson Brothers, buying Ranson's General Store from their father. They were also partners in Ranson's Oil Company, Ranson Motors, Ranson's Mobile Homes, and for a short time owned their own restaurant at Sprouses Corner. He served the Commonwealth's Department of Justice for 37 years, was Justice of the Peace and magistrate for 17 years and 20 years as chief magistrate of the 10th district.

He also served the church for many years as a deacon and 21 years as Sunday school director. He was also a Free Mason for 63 years, serving in numerous capacities.

A loving father and grandfather, Mr. Ranson is survived by his daughter, Sue and husband, George Dowdy; son, Radford Ranson; grandchildren, Samantha and husband, John Scialdo, Lee Dowdy and wife, the Rev. Elizabeth Rickert Dowdy, Joellen and husband, Timothy Franklin, and Zachariah and Elijah Ranson; three great-grandchildren, Logan Franklin, Piper Scialdo and Rozelia Dowdy; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Mr. Ranson was preceded in death by his loving wife of 61 years, Irene Jones Ranson; his father and mother, Radford Bennett Sr. and Estelle Fitzgerald; seven brothers and one sister, Bennett, Buford, Everett, William, Elizabeth Burroughs, Emmett, Howard and Samuel; and two children, Patricia and Tommy.

A funeral service was held at Dillwyn First Baptist, in the heart of Dillwyn, on Monday.

Donations can be made to the Dillwyn Fire Department, Buckingham Volunteer Rescue Squad and Dillwyn First Baptist Church.

Puckett Funeral Home, Farmville, was in charge of arrangements. www.puckettfh.com