Rodney Allen Franklin
1935 - 2021
BORN
1935
DIED
2021
Rodney Allen Franklin

August 7, 1935 - February 17, 2021

Rodney Allen Franklin, 85, of Thaxton, Virginia, quietly slipped the surly bonds of earth on Wednesday, February 17, 2021, and now abides with family and friends who have preceded him on that timeless plane in the Heavens.

Rodney was born on August 7, 1935, in Bedford County, Va., to the late Claude Allen and Virginia Odell Lawhorn Franklin. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by son, Terry Allen Franklin; and two sisters, Gloria Singletary of Hopewell, Va., and Carolyn Peavler of Roanoke.

Rodney leaves behind Betty Lou Neal Franklin, his wife of 65 years; daughters, Cheryl Coleman and Vicki Perdue (Brady); granddaughters, Bridget Matola (Michael) and Stephanie Coleman (David Melki); and grandson, Samuel Franklin. He also leaves a sister, Sandra West (Sam) of Forest; brothers, Jerry of Blue Ridge, and David (Pollyanna) of Montvale; and numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.

Rodney saw every sunrise an opportunity, every sunset and achievement. At 16, he dropped out of Montvale High School to work for R.H. Lowe Plumbing and Heating before being sworn into the United States Navy on his 17th birthday. After completing basic training at Bainbridge, Md., he was assigned to the USS Tripoli (CVE-64) where he served his entire enlistment, rising to Boilerman First Class (-8) in August 1973BT1). Four days after separating from the Navy he enlisted in the Air Force as a Technical Sergeant (E-6) where he retired as a Senior Master Sergeant (E-8) in August 1973.

During both his Navy and Air Force years he saw Europe, North Africa, Japan, and Vietnam. His stateside assignments included North Carolina, Washington State, Texas, and Ohio.

After his military career, he returned to Virginia where he earned an Associate Degree at Virginia Western Community College, a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science Degrees at Radford University while simultaneously serving as an AFJROTC Instructor (9 years) and English teacher (8 years) with Roanoke City Schools.

After retiring from Roanoke City Schools in 1991, he served as the administrator of Vinton Moose Lodge, 1121, and on the Board of Directors of the Bedford Museum. His great love, however, was writing, and had pieces appear in numerous publications over the years. He also enjoyed golf and the guitar.

A Funeral Service will be held at Oakey's East Chapel, 5188 Cloverdale Road, Roanoke, VA 24019, on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 1 p.m. with the Pastor Bill Mitchell officiating. Interment will follow at the Old Dominion Memorial Gardens with Military Honors by the U.S. Air Force. The family will receive friends prior to the funeral service from 12 noon to 1 p.m. at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations be made to the Bedford Museum or to the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Montvale, Va. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.oakeys.com.

To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by Roanoke Times from Feb. 21 to Feb. 23, 2021.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
Feb
24
Visitation
12:00p.m. - 1:00p.m.
Oakey's Funeral Home & Crematory - East Chapel
5188 Cloverdale Road, Roanoke, VA 24019
Feb
24
Funeral service
1:00p.m.
Oakey's Funeral Home & Crematory - East Chapel
5188 Cloverdale Road, Roanoke, VA 24019
Funeral services provided by:
Oakey's Funeral Home & Crematory - East Chapel
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10 Entries
So sad to hear that we lose Rodney but grateful the Lord has given him a new assignment! I will truly miss playing guitars and singing with him! God bless you all and strengthen you during your time of loss.
John Stickley
February 24, 2021
Betty, here is a poem to help you in your time of morning. Love Gale. ( You never said I'm leaving, you never said goodbye, you were gone before I knew it, & only God knew why. A million times I needed you, a million times I cried, if love alone could have saved you, you never would have died. In life I loved you dearly, in death I love you still,in my heart you hold a place that no one can ever fill. It broke my heart to lose you, but you didn't go alone, for part of me went with you the day God took you home). I hope this can bring you a little bit of comfort if that's even possible. I love you so much. Gale Dooley
Gale Dooley
Friend
February 24, 2021
Betty I've got a poem that I hope will help the way you are feeling.(You never said I'm leaving, you never said goodbye. You were gone before I knew it, and only God knew why. A million times times I needed you, a million times I cried, if love alone could have saved you ,you never would have died. In life I loved you dearly, In death I love you still, In my heart you hold a place that no one could ever fill. It broke my heart to lose you,but you didn't go alone, for part of me went with you,the day God took you home.) I'm so sorry for you loss, & I love you so much. I'm gonna really miss Rodney, he was a great person. God bless you & your family. Love Gale Dooley
Gale D Dooley
Friend
February 24, 2021
Praying for you and the family in your loss of Mr. Franklin. Memories are gifts our hearts receive to bring gentle comfort as we grieve. Asking God to enfold you in His love and comfort you with cherished memories you hold dear.
Charles Parker and The western Light Baptist Church family
February 23, 2021
I am so sorry for the news of Rodney passing. My sincere sympathy to Betty and the family. He was a wonderful and talented man. Our Ancestry world will miss him and all the contributions that were still to be found.
Teresa Franklin Shiflett
February 22, 2021
Betty , words will never ever express my aching heart for you and the girls, or for the loss I feel for Rodney. He was a true Hero and man of God. Our church family has lost so much . Please know how much I care and call if I can do anything for you. Love you Lady, Vickie Hawkins..
Vickie Hawkins
February 22, 2021
Mr. Rodney will be missed layne always enjoyed going with Rodney to the cemetery to discover more ancestors and loved going to eat with him and MS.betty we always had a good time he was a very talented man. Wrote a lot played music and much more he will be missed
Cindy Pugh
February 22, 2021
My heart, & love go out to the whole family, but especially to two of the sweetest people I know.(Betty, & Vicky). My prayers are with you. Love Gale
Gale Dooley
February 21, 2021
Rodney was a true Franklin, and a gentleman, and he introduced me to my g-g-g- grandfather, Samuel Amber Franklin. Took me to his burial site. Our heartfelt sympathies to his family and I will always be grateful for our memories. I know the Franklin´s have a very special place in Heaven that God has set aside, Rest In Peace.
Larry Horne
February 21, 2021
L. David Roper, Blacksburg
February 21, 2021