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Roosevelt Rankins was born on May 2, 1940, to the late Hattie Timmons Rankins Ford in Richland Parish. He was the eldest of four children.
Roosevelt Rankins, AKA “Rooster,” was a graduate of Carroll High School where he played basketball and tight-end in football. Upon high school graduation in 1959, as a young athlete he was among the giants who starred in Grambling’s 1959 championship basketball team, receiving his NAIA ring in 1961. He graduated from Grambling College in 1963. He was Honorably Discharged from the United States Army, April 9, 1969. Roosevelt Rankins received The Ervin “Pete” Turner Humanitarian Award in 2003. Roosevelt was employed by the Monroe City school system where he taught physical education at Carroll Junior High. After one year at Carroll Junior High, he went on to coach basketball and taught Social Studies at Carroll High. In 1969, he joined the Neville High faculty as an Assistant Basketball Coach and member of the social studies staff. Over the span of 20 years, he served in the capacity of Administrator where he established signature events such as the Wall of Fame for students who exemplify “Tiger Pride.” He also established the “Honor Roll Breakfast” and the “Clean Team,” where he convinced students to show up to school at 8:00 a.m. on Saturdays to clean the stadium. Neville named Roosevelt their “Golden Tiger.”
Roosevelt accepted Christ at a very young age and was baptized by the late Rev. J.B. Brown at the Solomon Temple Baptist Church. He was a lifelong member of Solomon Temple Baptist Church under the continual leadership of Rev. James Roy Howard. He supported his church and loved supporting the youth in all their church endeavors.
Roosevelt was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Selma Rankins, Jr., and Bertram Wallace; grandmother, Mary Fitch Rankins; uncles, Reverend W. L. Rankins and Reverend Fredrick Perkins; and aunt, Lillie V. Spears.
He leaves to cherish his memory: his one and only sister, Evelyn Rankins Aubrey; beloved niece, Tika Aubrey, and nieces, LaTicia Rankins of Ypsilanti, MI, and Nycole King; nephews, James Aubrey III and Gregory Cheeks of Scottsdale, AZ; godsister, Mary Delores Berry; Dedicated Neighborhood Friend and Prayer Warrior, Alice Maxwell; devoted co-worker, Sharon White; and a host of other family and friends.