B. Lamar Rankin, Sr., 92, passed away on Saturday, July 17, 2021, surrounded by family.
Lamar was born in Athens, Tn., on October 19, 1928. He attended Tennessee Wesleyan College and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, graduating with a B.S. in Business. While at the University of Tennessee he was a member of the Alpha Sigma Chapter of the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. After graduating he enlisted in the U.S. Army serving from 1950 to 1951. Early in his career in banking, he received a Certificate of Banking from The Stonier Graduate School of Banking, Rutgers University in a program sponsored by the American Bankers Association.
Lamar started his career as Executive Director of the Athens Housing Authority before moving to Chattanooga where he was employed as a certified property manager for Real Estate Management, Inc. from 1953 to 1957. While working there he met and married the love of his life, Martha Ann Whitaker. Lamar joined the Hamilton National Bank of Chattanooga in 1957 and rose to the position of Executive Vice President. In the Fall of 1972 he was the founding president and CEO of the Hamilton Bank in Nashville. Later he served as executive vice president of Hamilton Bancshares, Inc. moving back to the Chattanooga area. Over the course of his career in banking, Lamar served on the boards of directors of 14 banking institutions in Tennessee and north Georgia as well as serving as a board member of the Title Guaranty and Trust Company. Lamar ended his working career as a Personal Financial Planner/Investment Advisor with IDS/AmericanExpress. He retired in 1991.
Lamar was very active in the Chattanooga community serving in various leadership roles with the Chattanooga Jaycees and the Kiwanis Club. He served on the Middle Tennessee and Cherokee Area Councils of the Boy Scouts of America receiving a Silver Beaver Award. Lamar served on the University of Tennessee Development Council. He was State President of the Tennessee Lung Association and named Volunteer of the Year. Lamar also served in voluntary roles for CONTACT of Chattanooga, Erlanger Hospital Auxiliary, Service Core of Retired Executives, Signal Mountain Welfare Council and Signal Mountain Social Services. He was named the first Volunteer of the Year by Signal Mountain Social Services which subsequently named the annual award the Lamar Rankin Volunteer of the Year Award.
Lamar was an elder at Central Presbyterian Church and later elder and Sunday School teacher at Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church.
He was preceded in death by his parents, E. Bruce Rankin and Mamie Lee Cate Rankin, his sister Margaret Rankin Gladney and daughter-in-law, Katrinka Byrd Rankin.
He is survived by his wife of almost 68 years, Martha Ann Whitaker Rankin and two children, Bruce L. Rankin, Jr and Betsy Rankin Christensen (husband Harold), and grandson Bruce L. Rankin, III, all living in the Chattanooga area. Additional survivors include nephew Doug Gladney and his family of Watkinsville, GA and two step grandchildren and their spouses and six step-great grandchildren in Ohio and Colorado.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. at Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church on Thursday, July 22, with Reverend Dr. Scott Bowen presiding. Visitation with the family will be at the church starting at 10 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to one of the above organizations that Lamar supported or the charity of your choice.
Arrangements are by the North Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory, and Florist, 5401 Highway 153, Hixson, Tn. 37343.
Please share your thoughts and memories at www.chattanooganorthchapel.com.