By Nicole Hamilton
The Cincinnati Enquirer
LAKESIDE PARK - Cynthia Creaghead Rankin turned her breast cancer diagnosis into an opportunity to teach and support others struggling with the disease.
She was a volunteer counselor at the Wellness Community of Northern Kentucky for newly diagnosed cancer patients and a counselor to fellow church members at Lakeside Presbyterian.
Mrs. Rankin died Friday at St. Elizabeth Medical Center Hospice after an eight-year battle with breast cancer. The Lakeside Park resident was 61.
Raised in Fort Mitchell, Mrs. Rankin graduated from Beechwood High School in 1959 and the University of Cincinnati, where she earned a bachelor's degree in nursing, in 1963. While in college, she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
She completed a master's degree in nursing at the University of Kentucky in 1984.
Mrs. Rankin worked at Boston and Cincinnati children's hospitals after graduating from UC.
She taught nursing at UC's College of Nursing and Health from 1966 to 1968 and, later, at Northern Kentucky University. She was teaching at NKU when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1995. That same year, she retired from teaching.
"Cindy was always looking for ways to give - to her family, to her church and to her community - even throughout her battle with breast cancer," said her husband, Richard Rankin.
"In the face of this awful disease, she served as a shining example of courage, grace, and strength - inspiring everyone who met her,'' he said. "She refused to let cancer dampen her spirit and joy for life."
She recently served on the board of the St. Elizabeth Medical Center Foundation, and was an elder, deacon, parish nurse and Stephen minister at her church.
In addition to her husband, Mrs. Rankin is survived by three daughters, Jennifer Rankin Byrne of Alexandria, Va., Katherine Creaghead Rankin and Sara Courtice Rankin, both of Cincinnati; her mother, Sybil H. Creaghead of Florence; and a brother, Joseph J. Creaghead III of Fort Mitchell.
A memorial service will be 11 a.m. Saturday at Lakeside Presbyterian Church, 2690 Dixie Highway. A reception will follow in the church hall.
Memorials: Cynthia C. Rankin Memorial Fund, c/o Lakeside Presbyterian Church, 2690 Dixie Highway, Lakeside Park, Ky. 41017.
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