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1930 Sulo 2024

Sulo "Bill" Ranta

August 16, 1930 — March 31, 2024

Sulo William “Bill” Ranta, 93, of Fayetteville, Pennsylvania went to be with the Lord Jesus on Resurrection Sunday, March 31, 2024 in Owasso, Oklahoma. Born August 16, 1930 in Negaunee, Michigan, he was the son of Jacob Ranta and Ida Holmi Ranta. His father came to the United States from Finland at the age of 19 and settled in the upper peninsula of Michigan where Sulo spent his childhood. Sulo was always so proud of his Finnish heritage, later taking his entire family to Finland to meet their extended family. Sulo always loved sports and played football and basketball at Negaunee High School. He remained close with his high school classmates throughout his life. Upon graduation in 1948, he enlisted in the United States Navy where he served for seven years. He spent time in Korea, Japan and other locations throughout the world. He met his beloved wife Wilma, who was working at the FBI, on a bus during the time he was stationed in Washington, DC. They married on May 25, 1957 and had two daughters, Karen and Lisa. They spent the next 25 years living in Virginia where Sulo “Bill” worked for the government at the United States Post Office then the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. When he retired in 1987, he and Wilma moved to Fayetteville, PA. Bill loved being able to spend more time being “Pappy” and playing golf with his treasured golfing buddies. He was always there for his girls and always put them first, and he played a huge role in the lives of each of his grandchildren who all adored him. He was a delight to everyone who met him with his love of adventure, playfulness, fun-loving sense of humor, wit, and kindness.

He and Wilma loved being part of the body of Christ at New Guilford Brethren in Christ Church in Fayetteville. Wilma was on the prayer team and he often helped her write down all the church prayer requests. They were married for 62 years and during her last few difficult years Bill lovingly cared for her until her death in 2020.
Always humble, he never felt worthy of heaven but talked about how wonderful it would be. During his last week on earth he talked about Wilma waiting for him and he was going to get her and they would be getting a new house. He met her and his Savior on Easter Sunday, March 31, 2024.

He is survived by his two daughters, Karen Dixon and husband Lyle of Fayetteville, Pennsylvania, and Lisa Zingerman and husband Scott of Owasso, Oklahoma; six grandchildren, Aaron Dixon and wife Dawn, Brad Dixon, Corey Dixon and wife Nina, Shanna Simms, Scott Andrew Zingerman and wife Cailyn, and Jenna Bogue and husband Daniel; great-grandchildren, Shawn, Jasmine, Bella, Lori, Jozy, Rocco, Cecilia, Justus, Nash, Wren and baby girl Bogue; great great-grandchildren Kinsey and Killian; sister-in-law Carol Miller and brother-in-law Roger Miller and his wife Ginny, and numerous nieces, nephews and treasured friends. He is preceded in death by his parents and siblings Leslie Ranta, Aune Macario, Raymond Ranta and infant Laila Ranta, and brother-in-law Bill Miller.

Funeral Services will be held Monday, April 29 2024 at 10:00 am at New Guilford Brethren in Christ Church, 1575 Mont Alto Road, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, where Pastor Lawton Jacobs will officiate. Private interment will be held at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, Pennsylvania.

Arrangements are by the Thomas L. Geisel Funeral Home, Chambersburg, PA. Online condolences may be expressed at

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, April 29, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

New Guilford Brethren in Christ Church

1575 Mont Alto Road, Chambersburg, PA 17202

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Indiantown Gap National Cemetery

Annville, PA

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