Raylene Rankin God Speed and Fare Thee Well Love
Submitted by Don Graham
Raylene Rankin, a member of the internationally acclaimed Canadian Celtic-country band The Rankin Family, has died after a long fight with cancer at the young age of 52.
Rankin and her four siblings -- John Morris, Jimmy, Cookie and Heather -- formed the group more than 20 years ago and are credited with taking Cape Breton Celtic music to the mainstream. It’s a sad loss for a family that has already endured so much tragedy. In 2000 John Morris died when the truck he was driving to a hockey game plunged into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Sister Geraldine passed away in 2007.
Rankin had three bouts of cancer. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001, it returned again in 2009. In 2011, she was told the cancer had spread to her liver and she immediately began aggressive chemotherapy.
The Rankin Family performed together for 10 years, during which time they sold more than two million records, won six Juno awards, three Canadian Country Music Awards and 15 East Coast Music Awards.In 1999, members of the group went their separate ways to pursue different personal and creative paths.
God speed and fare thee well Raylene Rankin, you will be missed.