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Grace Harrell Walker Rankin passed away at her home on November 27, 2012. Born June 7, 1928 in Wesson to Nina Beth Harrell of Wesson and Van Joe Harrell of Claiborne County, Grace leaves a legacy of leadership, service to others, love of gardening, and devotion to family and for her Lord Jesus Christ.
She attended Copiah County schools, and after graduating from Gallman High School worked in Jackson at McRae's and at South Central Bell as a telephone operator. In 1947 Grace married William Howard Walker of Hazlehurst and moved to Natchez where she was active in Morgantown Baptist Church. Later they lived briefly in Cleveland. In 1964 they relocated to Clinton where they resided for nearly twenty years. Grace was an active member of Morrison Heights Baptist Church where she taught Sunday School; and was the Girl's Auxiliary leader. She worked at Clinton Florist and later Hinds Nursery & Garden in Jackson; was President of Central Allied Florist, and received the Achievement Award. She then opened Floral Concepts and continued as a leader in the floral community, serving as Teleflora Unit President for Mississippi, receiving Central Allied Florist's Achievement Award and Mississippi Florist Association's Achievement Award. Grace also served as Worthy Matron of the Eastern Star, and President of Clinton Chamber of Commerce.
Later they moved to Raymond where they built their dream home, and became members of Raymond Baptist Church. Grace belonged to the Culture Club of Raymond, worked as Special Events Administrator at Hinds County Community College, and was a member of Executive Women's International. After her husband's death in 1990, she married James Orville Rankin of Magee in 1992. They moved to Magee and she became an active member of Pine Grove Baptist Church. There she served as President of Magee Women's Club, volunteered with Christian Women's Job Corp and was a reader at Magee Elementary.
Grace's survivors include: daughters, Tanya (Ron) Gala of Magee, and Melody (Dan) Orrantia of Highland Village, Texas; stepdaughters, Janna Hughes of Pearl, and Tanya Rankin of Brandon; sister, Virginia (Lewis) Traweek of Raymond; brother, Glen (Ruth) Harrell of Navarre, Florida; granddaughters, Katie Harrison (Buddy) Blackledge, and Hayley Orrantia; step grandson, Wesley Hughes; great grandsons, Matthew Blackledge, and Luke Blackledge; great granddaughter, Rachel Blackledge; step great granddaughters, Brooke and Cate Hughes.
Grace was preceded in death by her first husband, William Howard Walker; second husband, James Orville Rankin; sister, Peggy Harrell Berch; and daughter, Susie Harrison McCann. www.tutorfuneralhome.com
Tutor Funeral Home, Inc.
822 Simpson Hwy 149
Magee, MS 39111
Published in Clarion Ledger on Dec. 9, 2012