Kay McCollum Rankin

August 12, 2020

Kay McCollum Rankin

She was always a fighter. Kay was born six weeks early on March 7, 1954 in Elkin, NC.
The umbilical cord was knotted around her neck, but she was strong enough to make her arrival into this world. Sixteen and eighteen years ago she survived two rounds of breast cancer but succumbed to lung cancer on August 12, 2020.

Kay was the typical middle child of Mary Gunter McCollum and Harold Rice McCollum. She had a very fun, active, adventurous, and mischievous childhood with her brother Jimmy and sister Carol. No one could ask for better siblings.
They taught her two of her favorite things throughout her life - genuine laughter and the love of great music. Kay adored them all her life and they adored her.
In second grade Kay and her family moved to Winston-Salem where she remained until she married. She made many lifelong friends there and many wonderful memories.

In 1971 she met the love of her life at Ocean Drive Beach - Michael O’Herron Rankin. They married in 1976 and celebrated 44 years of marriage in July.
Michael has been the best husband, friend, father, grandfather, and caretaker one could ever dream of. Kay and Michael were blessed with the three best children ever born- Mason, Matthew, and Mary Holland. They brought her such joy and pride in everything thing they did. This joy continued with adding to the nest two wonderful daughters-in-law (Krista & Beth) and a son-in-law (Tripp). With these perfect matches came the gift of eight beautiful, sweet, fun, entertaining, and much-loved grandchildren, David, Hannah, Clara, Anna, Nash, Elle, Lydia, and Grady. What blessings! Kay also leaves behind her faithful and sweet basset hound, Lola, who also filled her days with happiness.

Many thanks go to Kay’s wonderful extended family, friends, neighbors, and those she met on a whim from God. They were all prayer warriors of the strongest sort. She would also like to thank her amazing team of doctors and compassionate aides throughout her life, as well as Levine Cancer Institute, Hospice, and Bayada.

A private service will be held for family at 2:00 PM on Sunday, August 16, 2020 at Myers Park United Methodist Church. Friends are invited to join the family virtually at https://livestream.com/accounts/13442168/events/9255878

In lieu of flowers Kay asks that you continue to pray for all her family and friends as well as the whole world, especially the children and animals.
Gifts can be made in her name to Carolina Basset Hound Rescue at cbhr.com

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at www.kennethpoeservices.com.

Share your memories & condolences


  • Patton Bost

    I’m very sad to hear of Kay’s passing. She was such a bright light with sparkling eyes.
    I’ll always remember the fun times with her and sister Carol at Morningside Apartments back in ‘75.
    RIP Kay.

  • Stephen E Holcomb

    I met Kay when we were neighbors and both new to Charlotte. She and her sister Carol became great friends with my roommate and I when we lived at the old Morningside Apts. She was a joy to know, always smiling and laughing. We were young and had our lives before us; Kay was always charging ahead ready to meet the challenges life would bring. It was a gift to know her and I'll always be grateful that I did.

  • Deborah Shelton

    Kay was one of a kind. We shared many, many years together and there were always many, many laughs and good times. She was a wonderful wife and mother who loved her family and friends and 4 legged children unconditionally. She will be truly missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to you all.

    Debbie Ferrell Shelton

  • Graham Ferrell

    I have such fond memories of Kay while I was growing up. She was always funny and fun to be around. I'm sorry that we did not keep up with each other after becoming adults. I will always remember her in my heart.

  • Robin Shore

    Michael, I am so sad to hear of Kay’s passing. She was a very sweet and kind person. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the family.

  • Jimmy Binkley

    Kay was one of the best, kindest people I have ever met in my life. RIP Kay. Yours was a life well lived.

  • Grace Wilson

    The funeral service at MPUMC was beautiful! Thank you for the opportunity to share the service with family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers to all the Rankin Family from the Richard W. Wilson Family.

  • Len Efird

    Miss Kay Rankin was a bright spot in the world❣️??Her sparking eyes and her infectious laugh will be missed on this Earth, but enjoyed so by the Angels in Heaven, of which she is now one?? She was a loyal friend, mother, wife, grandmother and true to herself! Rare in this day and time!! Rest well, sweet Kay! You’ve left the world a better place!! I’ll love you always! From your Musketeer Miss Len

  • David Tate

    I have had cancer in my life. The brave and courageous fight Kay underwent touches me deeply. It is her beautiful family that kept her strong to fight a fierce battle. The emotional side of cancer caused by the uncertainty and the many unknowns was countered by the support Kay was so fortunate to have in a loving family.

    Mason and Tripp, you are the members of the family closest to me. Your handling of all matters which challenged the family during this trying time where strong and compassionate. I am so proud to know you both and love you very much. Thanks for all you both do to help our lives, especially while your hearts were breaking for the loss of Kay.

  • Lindsay Daniel

    Kay was champagne with the bubbles. The Boyce family women loved her and recognized how very special she was. I believe that your whole family was indeed fortunate for such a wife, partner for life, mother, and grandmother, mother-in-law. We all learned from her beautiful outlook on life - what strength of faith that is! For the family I can not imagine a greater legacy she left you with than your uplifting memories of the times with her. You all are blessed. My love and big hugs for you all. Lindsay and Gib Daniel, Zach Daniel & McRea Daniel Brakefield

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