Passages: Maureen “Mo” Rankin Loses Battle To Cancer

maureen rankin

It is with deep sadness that Swimming World has learned of the passing of Maureen “Mo” Rankin. In December of 2016 doctors discovered a tumor in her bladder. She underwent surgery and began chemotherapy in early 2017 to combat the cancer. However, this morning on September 25th Maureen lost her valiant battle with cancer.

Maureen was born in New York and raised in Lake Oswego, Ore., where she swam for the Mulnomah Athletic Club and St. Mary’s Academy. From the age of 11 on she was a USA Swimming National Age Group top 16 swimmer and a multiple Oregon State High School Swimming champion and state record holder. In 1988, she was named Oregon Swimming Female Swimmer of the Year by coaches.

Following her graduation from St. Mary’s Academy, Maureen received a full athletic scholarship to swim for the University of Arizona Wildcats under the guidance of esteemed coach Frank Busch. She became a nine-time All-American, was a member of the USA Swimming Junior National team, and was a finalist at the USA Swimming Senior Nationals, NCAA Division I Championships, and the USA Swimming Olympic Trials.

After graduating from the University of Arizona with a degree in English literature, swimming and modeling remained a constant in Maureen’s life. She was a swim coach for 20 years– working with age group, high school, and masters swimmers over the course of her career. Keeping fit over the years as a swimmer, Rankin was often asked to model for fitness and clothing companies.  She also served as Age Group Chair of Arizona Swimming from 2013 through 2016.

Maureen was a member of the Swimming World staff from 2014 – 2016. She served as the Circulation and Marketing Manager in the Phoenix office. Mo has left an indelible mark on all who had the immense privilege of knowing her.

She is survived by her husband, Mark Rankin, and two children: Mia (14) and Luke (11).

Funeral services for Maureen will be Saturday, Sept. 30, at at St. Francis Xavier Church (4715 N. Central Ave, Phoenix, Ariz. 85012) at 3 p.m. A reception will be held afterwards in the adjacent St. Francis Xavier Anderson Hall.

A memorial fund has been created to honor her memory and to help support her family to assist with future education and health care needs for her children. Individuals can donate to the memorial fund by clicking here.

Swimming World sends their condolences to the Rankin family in this difficult time.  

74 Comments
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5 years ago

Very sad news.

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5 years ago

RIP!

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5 years ago

So sorry to hear !! RIP

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5 years ago

RIP

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5 years ago

I am heartbroken ?

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5 years ago

So much love to her entire family from me (formerly Alexis Brenner) and my parents. Such a tremendous competitor and someone I always enjoyed seeing at meets. Glad I had the chance to reconnect with Mo thru masters swimming a while back…. ❤️❤️❤️

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5 years ago

I am so sorry to read this. Sending prayers out to her children and family. I remember Maureen’s swimming talent.

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5 years ago

Deep Sadness Indeed for the Lost of Great American Swimming ? Champion Maureen. Her Soul Rest in peace in heaven near God.

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5 years ago

I cannot put into words how heartbreaking this news is. Rest In Peace, and pain free, sweet friend. You are missed, already.

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5 years ago

So sad. Swim on Mo. Prayers for Mo and her family. ???

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5 years ago

So sorry to see this. She was a wonderful person.

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5 years ago

Good lord, that is terrible news.

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5 years ago

Very sad…my condolences to her family and friends.

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5 years ago

So very sad to hear

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5 years ago

May she Rest In Peace.??

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5 years ago

DeAnn Pertz Salvo

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5 years ago

Heartbreaking news. RIP Coach Mo. You were one of the best. Prayers to Mark, Mia, Luke & the rest of her family.

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Jeana Kempe
5 years ago

So sad to hear this news. Loved sharing a pool deck with her during my time in Arizona. My condolences to the Rankin family!

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Virginia Silvey ( Drawz)
5 years ago

Thoughts of healing and love to her family

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5 years ago

Darn. Swimmers deserve to live forever. Condolences to her family and the world of swimming. She will be missed.

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5 years ago

She was truly special, and very genuine. A tremendous loss to all who had the honor of knowing her.

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5 years ago

So sorry to hear , RIP , Sending prayers out to her family, forever MAUREEN

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5 years ago

Wow- what a loss?

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5 years ago

Sad news, RIP

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Condolences.

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5 years ago

Very sad.

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5 years ago

RIP

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Brian Shepherd
5 years ago

Our deepest condolences to the family.

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5 years ago

Thoughts and prayers for Mark, the kids, and the entire community. What a beautiful legacy of love, laughter, and compassion.

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Marc Rizzo
5 years ago

Very sad news. Condolences to your family, Maureen. Rest In Peace.

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5 years ago

RIP

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5 years ago

Really sorry God Bless her way to young

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5 years ago

Prayers for the entire family. Heartbreaking ❤

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5 years ago

Deepest condolences….

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5 years ago

RIP

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wendy ramos
5 years ago

She was an amazing woman indeed. It was my honor to know her. Prayers for her faimly.

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5 years ago

Mark,

Mary and my hearts, thoughts and prayers are with you and your children. We are so saddened by this loss. Maureen was so amazing in so many ways. We will all miss her.
Please let us know how we can help you get through this difficult time.

Gary Sr.

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Janine Simioni
5 years ago

So sorry to hear this news. Mo was an awesome swimmer and a great help to the office at Az. Swimming. She will be missed. We will keep your family in our prayers.

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Aimee schmitt
5 years ago

Absolutely heartbreaking?

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Houghton Mayfield
5 years ago

She was one of my first coaches at age 6, and 12 years later her nifluence on me is just as great, she is a second mother to me. I will never forget the times I spent with her. She will be remembered.

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Gary Hollywood
5 years ago

Very Sad. RIP

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Henry Palmer
5 years ago

Coach Mo,
You were my favorite coach and the reason why I am still swimming today. You knew had to make swimming fun. Even when we were working our tails off to the point of exhaustion, you knew a little four square or frisbee would keep us motivated. Thank you for all you’ve done for me as a swimmer and the sport in general. Rest in peace Mighty Mo,
Much Love,
Henry Palmer

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5 years ago

So very sad to have lost such an amazing person. Lucky to have spent time with her in the pool and on the deck as teammates. Such a great person. my heart is with you and your family.
-Evan Roberts

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Elizabeth Damore Minchew
5 years ago

Mark and family, so very sorry to hear of your loss and my heart is with you all.

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5 years ago

Prayers lifted?❤️

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Seth Pepper
5 years ago

One of my favorite people in the world. Mo was a senior when I was a freshman. Probably one of the kindest warm people in a very competitive world.

As her childhood friend and club/college teammate Brad Bachulis told me today: “Her husband Mark and two crazy great kids Mia and Luke need all the positive and caring thoughts we can muster.”

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Seth Pepper
5 years ago
Reply to  Seth Pepper

“The Rankin family is very grateful for the outpouring of love and support from all of you.”

https://www.generosity.com/memorial-fundraising/maureen-rankin-memorial-fund

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Godspeed Mo ✨???

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Kathy Halos
5 years ago

I am so sorry to hear this:(
I am praying for her family at this difficult time:(

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David Brooks
5 years ago

So sorry to hear about Maureen’s passing. Cancer is a nemesis for many and it takes far too many as well. Our granddaughter has been fighting her own battle, so we empathize and sympathize with your loss. Maureen will be missed by the Phoenix Swim Club and Arizona Swimming communities. My condolences to Mark and the children.

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5 years ago

Prayers and hope to Mark and the children. Prayers to Maureen’s mom. May Maureen rest in peace and watch from above. I know she touched many hearts and many will miss her. Her legacy will live on in her children and all she coached. So sad so young…
Mark and family, we will keep you in our prayers.
Sara (Quan) Nelson and family