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
Published by Roanoke Times from Feb. 21 to Feb. 23, 2021.