Eli Rantanes (right) is shown at the July 2011 Akron Railroad Club picnic.
Akron Railroad Club member Eli Louis Rantanes died Saturday. He was 87.
Born May 15, 1925, in Warwick, Ohio, he was the son of Christ and Mary Rantanes.
He was a civil engineer who began his career with Bethlehem Steel. He eventually became chief engineer for the company for which he worked for 30 years. Mr. Rantanes was knowledgeable about steam and diesel engines of Great Lake ore boats.
This knowledge led to him being commissioned a captain in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
Mr. Rantanes had a particular passion for model railroading. He built a large layout in his home that he enjoyed operating during open houses.
He belonged to and was a charter member of the U.S. Merchant Marine WWII Veterans Hall of Fame Chapter in Canton and the National Model Railroad Association. Division I Mid Central Region
He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Althea, a niece, Martha Price; step sisters, Margo Rupe and Joanne Howard; step daughter, Evonne Lent; step granddaughters, Cecily and Chelsie Lent; step sons, John M. Lent and Craig Lent; daughters, Lisa and Karin; a son, Louis; and several grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Inga; a daughter, Lydia; and a brother, Marc Sparko.
Services will be held at Auble Funeral Home in Orrville on Thursday at 2 p.m. with Judge Todd McKenney officiating. Burial will take place at St. Michael’s Cemetery near Marshallville.
Friends may call at the funeral home on Thursday, from noon until prior to the funeral.