John Lester Ranson, Jr. ’38, a resident of the Cypress, passed away on August 17, 2013. He was born on March 31, 1917 in Steele Creek, NC, son of John Lester Ranson and Mary Query Ranson. A native Charlottean, he took pride in the city he loved, and he cherished the memories of growing up on Hermitage Court at a time when the street car was his ride to Myers Park Country Club and the neighborhood kids ran from house to house.
John graduated from Davidson College in 1938 and went on to attend medical school at UNC Chapel Hill and Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia where he received his MD. After a one year internship, he joined the U.S. Army and served as a doctor in North Africa and Italy with the 88th Infantry Division. After the war, he completed his residency at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio where he met, fell in love with, and married Marilyn Charlotte Albrecht of Erie, PA. The couple moved to Charlotte in 1950 and John began his Internal Medicine Practice.
He became an active member of the North Carolina Association of Physicians and Surgeons and of the Mecklenburg County Medical Society. For 38 years, he served as physician and friend to countless patients in and around the Charlotte area and South Carolina. After retiring from his medical practice he became a regular at the Dowd YMCA and would proudly flash his original 1931 membership card on his way to spin class. Throughout his retirement golf became a great source of satisfaction and camaraderie.
Always curious about other countries, John and Marilyn traveled extensively around the globe, and John was eager to share the detailed list of his international trips that he kept in his shirt pocket. A devoted Christian, John joined the Myers Park Presbyterian Church in 1927 soon after it was established and was a loyal member serving as both Deacon and Elder and was active in the Friendship Trays Ministries for many years. A lover of music, John played piano and was always supportive of the music ministry at his church and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. He was on the Symphony Board of Directors and enjoyed season tickets for 63 years. He gave generously to his Alma Mater’s classical radio station WDAV and was on their Board of Directors for six years.
His circle of friends was forever expanding as he was engaged with and interested in people of all ages and circumstances, making friends wherever he went. He was preceded in death by his sister, Elva Ann Sarratt and her husband Reed; brothers William Alexander Ranson ’45 and Robert Query Ranson; his son-in-law Joseph Cook; and grandson Elliot Russell Cook. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Marilyn Albrecht Ranson; children Bill and wife Allison Ranson, Becky Cook, Pam and husband Tony Joyner; grandchildren, Travis and Hayley Cook, Caitlin ’07, Whitney and Anna Ranson, Jackson and Carson Joyner; his sister Mary Emily Baesel; and sisters-in-law Margaret Ranson and Mary Nell Ranson; as well as numerous nieces, nephews [including Forrest Leonard Ranson ’85] and cousins. Adored by his family John’s optimism and zest for life were an inspiration for all who knew him.
A celebration of John’s life will be held at Myers Park Presbyterian Church on Saturday, August 24 at 4:00 p.m., with a reception to follow. A visitation will be held Friday, August 23 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the Cypress Community Room, 3442 Cypress Club Drive, Charlotte, NC. Memorials may be made to the Music Ministry at Myers Park Presbyterian Church or to a charity of choice . Condolences may be offered at www.HarryandBryantFuneralHome.com.