Respected Attorney Harry D. Rankin Passed Away Sunday – He will be missed.

By Judge Stan Billingsley (Ret.)
Harry was always prepared when he came in the courtroom, and was considered to be highly credible on any argument he made before my bench. He was a pleasure to see and talk with. He will be missed.
The Northern Ky. Bar Association announced:
Harry D. Rankin, 58, of Ft. Mitchell, died Sunday, August 26, 2012. He was an attorney with Sutton Rankin Law in Edgewood. He is survived by numerous immediate family members including his wife, Jimmie Hurt Rankin and his son, attorney Otwell S. Rankin (B. Dahlenburg Bonar Law Firm)
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, September 1, 2012 at Immanuel United Methodist Church, 2551 Dixie Highway, Lakeside Park, KY 41017. Private burial Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Erlanger.
A reception will immediately follow the service at the Church fellowship hall.
Online condolences can be made at

Rest In Peace Harry Rankin

Until I have a radio voice again next week, you will have to read much which I would have spoken.

Who was Harry Rankin? Many of you either know he was an attorney or maybe heard of the name. Others have never heard of him. I could never be called a member of his inner circle or a close personal friend. I would characterize myself as a professional friend.

Those who know the Rankin family from Fort Mitchell know three Rankin boys-Tom, Dick and Harry became a doctor, accountant and lawyer. Can’t make that stuff up.

Harry practiced in various law firms during his career. In all my dealings with him, he was always and I mean always, a gentleman. In candor, sometimes I couldn’t believe how congenial he was. I even thought he must be phony he was so nice. I thought this can’t be real. One case he was involved in on the other side of me was the Funnybone case.

Over the years I learned Harry was not phony, but genuine. Here’s this lawyer who dresses like “country clubber,” has perfect hair, grew up in Fort Mitchell, hangs out with many “country clubbers,” is like a grown up boy scout, but he’s not only not a snob, he’s a genuinely good guy. He kinda reminded me of Mitt Romney. Harry may resent that comparison since he was a Democrat, but that helps me paint the picture for those who didn’t know Harry. He even did some Plaintiff’s work for God’s sake. I knew he had to have a heart.

Last week a mutual friend contacted me to see if I was interested in having Harry join my firm. I loved the idea.

Having a lawyer who had practiced even longer than me; did so in Ohio and Kentucky; had handled all kinds of cases; had experience; who everyone liked; with the last name of Rankin; and had relationships with a group I didn’t have relationships, was very appealing to me.

The next day Harry and I spoke by phone. I told him that I only took on partners. No associates. I offered him a position as my partner and he seemed excited for the opportunity. I was excited for the opportunity. We planned breakfast the next day, a Friday, to seal the deal. The early morning of Friday, I received a text from Harry that he had to cancel.

When I heard Harry died a few days later, I couldn’t believe it. I became distraught. Distraught over the death of someone I hardly knew, but knew deserved better.

My new favorite word after my bar battle is humanity. My favorite people are those who show humanity to others who need it and deserve it. Harry Rankin always revealed a humanity to others. God bless you and your family Harry. You were a good man and a good lawyer. I wish we could have been partners and fought the battles together

Leave a Comment: