Pittsburgh couple buys 50% share of River Forest Country Club, wants to make it public
A Pittsburgh husband and wife bought a 50 percent share of River Forest Country Club in Allegheny Township and want to open the course and its restaurant to the public.
Jamy and Robert Rankin of Pittsburgh’s Stanton Heights neighborhood bought a share of the property that had been owned by brothers R. Gary Duster and J. Rodney Duster, who own Duster Funeral Home in Tarentum.
Ownership of the other 50 percent of the country club will be retained by attorney Steve Irwin, who could not be reached for comment.
J. Rodney Duster and Jamy Rankin confirmed the deal Monday but did not disclose details. It has yet to be recorded at Westmoreland County Courthouse, according to Recorder of Deeds Tom Murphy.
“It’s a beautiful property. I fell in love with it,” Rankin said.
“We want to manage this as a country club, not just a golf course,” Robert Rankin added.
“For us, it’s about service and treating everyone as a member of our family. That will make a difference,” he said.
“It’s the personal touch and keeping the price point so the average person can enjoy this place,” Rankin said.
Jamy Rankin said the restaurant will become known as Lily’s. It will be a full-service restaurant that can handle banquets and be a reason for people to visit River Forest.
Jamy Rankin retired about three years ago as president and CEO of Ford Component Sales LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ford Motor Co., while her husband, Robert, is a 20-year veteran Pittsburgh firefighter. Jamy Rankin said she and her husband also own rental properties in Detroit and Pittsburgh.
When asked why he and his brother sold their interest, J. Rodney Duster said, “It’s time for a change.”
Allegheny Township Supervisors Chairwoman Kathy Starr said she didn’t know about the sale, but welcomed the positive impact from new owners.
The township and Kiski Area School District will each receive 1 percent of the 2 percent deed transfer tax.
Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck at 724-226-4711, [email protected] or via Twitter .