Obituary of Rhoda Faye Rankin
Rhoda Faye Rankin, 86 of Roanoke, VA, passed away on October 29, 2023.
Rhoda was born on July 1, 1937 in Park Ridge, NJ to Sylvia Faye Bickford Tuthill and Richard Lovejoy
Tuthill. They lived in Manhattan, NY during the war, and then in Lexington, KY for much of her
childhood before moving to Durham, NC where she graduated from Durham High School and went
on to attend The Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina in Greensboro.
She married Bruce Hamilton Ballantyne in 1958 and gave birth to one daughter (Shirley Ann
Ballantyne) and two sons (Robert Bruce Ballantyne and David Hamilton Ballantyne). They lived in
Charlotte, NC. After divorcing in 1977, she moved back to Lexington, KY.
There she became a licensed CNA and worked at The University of Kentucky Medical Center and
Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital. In 1983, she married William Franklin Rankin and they
remained in Lexington until 2017, when she moved to Roanoke, VA to be near her daughter from
which she finally passed.
As for the cause of death, Rhoda suffered from high blood pressure which through the years
resulted in a series of strokes eventually culminating into vascular dementia.
Rhoda loved reading science fiction and fantasy, and enjoyed musicals and movies. She was a
wonderfully creative artist and was very fond of cats and dragons (because she saw magic, we saw it
too). This artist could dance as well as draw and her superior sense of design was expressed in her
work as a Physical Therapy assistant where she made upper and lower extremity splints for stroke
patients. She was a warm touch in a busy day. She had her father’s blue eyes. When Faye (Rhoda’s
mother) died Rhoda took care of the rest of the family. She was a sensitive, perceptive soul with a
She is preceded in death by her parents, Sylvia Faye Bickford Tuthill and Richard Lovejoy Tuthill, and
husband, William Franklin Rankin. She is survived by her children, Shirley Ann Ballantyne, Roanoke,
VA, Robert Bruce Ballantyne (Pam), Youngsville, LA, and David Hamilton Ballantyne (Michelle),
Kannapolis, NC, her sister Marcia Tuthill Butterfield (Allan), Manchester, ME, niece Nyasha
Butterfield Grennan, Manchester, ME, and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.
The family would like to thank all the caregivers who took part in providing quality care and
friendship for Rhoda these last few years. And they also want to thank Carilion Clinic Hospice for
their dedication towards administering solace and support towards Rhoda’s next great adventure.
She was loved very much by all, will be dearly missed, but fondly and joyfully remembered. A
private memorial service for the family will be held at a later date. The family requests that any
donations in memory of Rhoda be made to:
o Carilion Clinic Foundation, P.O. Box 12187, Roanoke, VA 24023
o Roanoke Valley SPCA, 1340 Baldwin Ave., N.E. Roanoke, VA 24012
Arrangements by Simpson Funeral Home. (540)366-0707.