American Veteran 09

Stephen J. Rans

October 24, 1943 ~ March 14, 2022 (age 78)

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 Lt. Col. Stephen J. Rans 78, USAF, (Retired),  Rochester, Indiana, passed away at 6:00 A.M. Monday, March 14, 2022 at his residence.

He was born on October 24, 1943 in Rochester, Indiana, the son of Donald C. and Mary (Landis) Rans. After graduating from Rochester High School in 1961, he enrolled at Purdue University. At Purdue University he earned an Associate Degree in Aviation Maintenance and a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Education. Following his graduation from Purdue University, he enlisted in the United States Air Force. He served during the Vietnam War and held many positions including, Security Police Officer, Flight Inspection Pilot, Air Traffic Control Operational Pilot, Communications Squadron Commander, Command, Flight Evaluation Pilot, and Command, Flight Safety Officer. His service in the Air Force included deployments to Clark Air Force Base, Philippine Islands, the Republic of Vietnam and Sondrestrom Air Base in Greenland. While serving in the Air Force, he completed his Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Oklahoma City University.

Upon retirement from active military duty, Stephen returned to Indiana. He began teaching at Purdue University in Aviation Technology. He retired as Professor Emeritus. As well as teaching at Purdue University, he ran the family farm that has been in his family for over one hundred years. On April 8, 1989 in Rochester, Indiana, he married Lois (Unger) Lease and she survives.

Stephen was a member of the Rochester Lions Club, and had stayed active in aviation activities including volunteering for events at Wright- Paterson Air Base in Dayton, Ohio. In his spare time, he enjoyed tinkering around the farm, listening to a variety of music, attending the Wagon Wheel Playhouse and watching PBS television.

Survivors include his wife, Lois Rans, Rochester, Indiana, children, Col. Tonya Rans M.D., Chantilly, Virginia, Jennifer (Jeff) Mullinix, Peachtree City, Georgia, Bridget (Phil Greenwood) Rans, Indianapolis, Indiana, step-children, David (Trinity) Lease, Rochester, Indiana, Marcia (Carl) Buck, Virginia, grandchildren, Alyssa P. Nigro, Emily B. Nigro, Sadie A. Mullinix, Eliot Rans Strong, Jason M. Lease, Alexandra Lease, Amanda Lease, Jeff Buck, and Christopher Buck, several nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, and brother, Donald Lynn Rans.

Funeral services will be conducted at 11:00 A.M. Saturday, March 19, 2022, at Zimmerman Bros. Funeral Home, Rochester, Indiana. Friends may visit from 5:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. Friday and one hour prior to service Saturday at the Funeral Home. Burial will be in the Odd Fellows Cemetery, Rochester, Indiana, where military gravesides services will be conducted. Memorial contributions may be made to the Rochester Lions Club or the Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts. Online condolences may be expressed at


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March 18, 2022

5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Zimmerman Bros. Funeral Home
1101 Jefferson Street
Rochester, IN 46975

Funeral Service
March 19, 2022

11:00 AM
Zimmerman Bros. Funeral Home
1101 Jefferson Street
Rochester, IN 46975

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