Johnie Lafay (Faye) Rankin Lee, age 91, passed away peacefully on November 12, 2018, due to a lengthy illness. She was born August 25, 1927, in Troup, Texas, to John Henry and Verna Mae Rankin. She was married for 48 years to World War II veteran James Thomas Lee, who preceded her in death in 1994. Living in south Louisiana and south Texas for the first years of their marriage, Faye, James, and their two children returned to Troup in 1961, establishing their current home near family.
While working alongside her husband in his automobile business in Troup, Faye also became a successful entrepreneur as owner of a Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio and the Top Fashion clothing store. She was a 57-year member of the First Baptist Church in Troup, a member of the Eastern Star, and a former Mayor of the City of Troup when she was appointed to finish the tenure of her husband James at his death in 1994.
Faye truly lived life to the fullest through simple pleasures: chatting with friends at the Dairy Queen, playing penny slots at the casinos, and using her extraordinary talent as a seamstress. She loved her family unconditionally and was seen at every school or church activity in which her two children were involved as they grew up. One of four children, Faye was preceded in death by her parents and three sisters Violet Rankin, Pat Tenison, and Vee Switzer of Troup. Her beloved son, James Thomas (Tommy) Lee II, also preceded her in death in November of 1997. She is survived by her daughter Glenda Lee Johnston of Shreveport, Louisiana; two granddaughters and their husbands Kristi Lee Pierce and husband Kevin of Troup, and Lacy Johnston Hernandez and husband Jose’ of West Monroe, Louisiana, plus three great-grandchildren Kevin II, James, and Thomas Pierce of Troup. Faye is also survived by her long-time friend R.C. Lloyd of Troup, special nieces Rhonda and Tiffany Sparks, as well as many other nephews and nieces.
The family will greet friends from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 14, at the Cottle Funeral Home in Troup. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, November 15, at 11:00 a.m. at Cottle Funeral Home in Troup, with the Rev. Joe Ballard of the First Baptist Church officiating. Burial will follow at Pinecrest Cemetery in Troup. Pallbearers are Kevin Pierce, Kevin Pierce II, Erik Switzer, Craig Switzer, and Albert Lee.
Kristi and Glenda express their deepest gratitude to caregivers Laura White, Gail Beck, Samantha Starkey, Carolyn Wells, and Fay Potts who gave comfort and wonderful care during “mama’s” illness.