This is a post about a tragedy that happened 25 years ago to my sister, Norlaine’s son, Brian, and his two young children.
Backstory – My Dad was married once before he married my mother. He had two daughters during that first marriage. I never met my half sisters until 1980. We were all grown up and they had children of their own. Since they lived in Detroit and Ohio and I lived in California, I only met my sisters one time. My sisters names were Norlaine and Virginia. Sadly, they are both deceased.
Norlaine was the oldest of the two sisters. She married and had two children. A son, Brian and a daughter (still living). I never got to meet Brian.
Brian got married and had a son, Brian Keith Rankhorn, II born 14 Oct 1985. Then he and his wife had a daughter, Tabitha Dawn Rankhorn born 5 Jun 1987.
On January 4, 1990 in Mt. Gilead, Morrow, Ohio, Brian and his two young children died in a fire, in their home. Brian Sr. was 25, Brian Jr. was 4 and Tabitha was 2.
Here are photos of Brian Sr., Brian Jr. and Tabitha.
These photos are courtesy of The Columbus Dispatch
Here is the newspaper article from The Columbus Dispatch on 6 Jan 1990.
(CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE IT)
My sister Norlaine talked about this incident every time we spoke, up until her death in 2001.
There are memorials for this family on Find A Grave. You can visit their memorials by clicking on these links:
Brian Rankhorn, Sr. Brian Rankhorn, Jr. Tabitha Rankhorn
I don’t know what has become of the little Brian & Tabitha’s mother. I hope she has gone one with her life and that she is happy.
As we all know, family history is not always about happy stories. Our ancestor’s lives were just like ours, some happy times and some very sad times. I try to remember that as I review their stories.
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