Longtime church organist retiring
For the last 60 years, the music flowing out of the organ at Peace United Church of Christ in Dorchester has mostly come from the fingers of just one woman.
Whether it was the familiar hymns at Sunday services, the joyful processionals at weddings or the mournful dirges at funerals, chances are it was Arlene Rankl creating the music.
Rankl, a native of the Dorchester area, is retiring this year after more than a half-century of providing musical accompaniment for the small parish. Leaving the organist’s chair is a bittersweet experience, she says.
“When I gathered together my organ music to donate to the church, I felt like I believe my husband felt when he had the farm auction and sold the cows — empty, sad, and a little relieved,” she said.