Cover photo for Margaret True Lewis Rankel's Obituary
1923 Margaret 2020

Margaret True Lewis Rankel

September 11, 1923 — March 20, 2020

Margaret True Lewis Rankel, age 96 years of Niles, Michigan died peacefully at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, March 20, 2020 at West Woods of Niles following an extended illness.

She was born September 11, 1923, in Berrien County Michigan to John and Hattie (Smith) True.  She was the youngest of nine children all of whom are deceased.  She attended Oak Grove School thru eighth grade, and then attended Niles High School for 2 years.  Finally she transferred to Buchanan High School, graduating in 1941.

That same year she married Wally Lewis of Buchanan, Michigan.  They had 4 children – Larry Lewis of Tucson, Arizona, Gary Lewis, Dale Lewis and Margie (Lewis) Leazenby, all of Niles, Michigan.

Her first husband, Wallace Lewis passed away in 1987 after 46 years of marriage.  In 2001 Margaret married George Rankel of South Bend, Indiana who passed away in 2016 after 15 years of marriage.

She is survived by her 4 children and George’s 2 sons, James of Buchanan, MI and Richard of Dowagiac, MI.  Margaret is also survived by numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.

Margaret was an independent person all her life, including driving herself wherever she wanted to go.

She was a ‘Rosie the Riveter’ during WW2, a hostess at Frankie’s Restaurant in Niles, managed a storage facility in St. Joe Michigan and Salesperson at Rowley’s Shoes in Niles.  But spent most of her life doing the job she loved the most, raising and loving her adoring family.

She was one of a kind and will be greatly missed.

The funeral service for Margaret Rankel will be attended by only her immediate family at Noon on Friday, March 27, 2020 at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles with Mr. Don Hales, lay minister at Tanglewood Trace Retirement Home in Mishawaka, Indiana officiating.  Interment will follow at the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Buchanan, Michigan.  Relatives and friends are invited to witness the ceremony via the livestreamed broadcast available on the Halbritter-Wickens Facebook page:

Contributions in memory of Margaret may be made to  the Niles District Library, 620 East Main Street, Niles, MI 49120; . During this time of limited social contact, please continue in personal contact using greeting cards and the postal service or with online condolences which may be left at:

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Margaret True Lewis Rankel, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Friday, March 27, 2020

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Halbritter Wickens Funeral Home

615 E Main St, Niles, MI 49120

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Friday, March 27, 2020

Starts at 1:30 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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