In Celebration of MHS Class of 1958

In Celebration of MHS Class of 1958

A Tribute and Celebration

We were the class of 1958, members of the Greatest Generation as well as children of the Greatest Generation. Born in 1940, we are also called members of the Traditional Generation.

Our childhood, post World War II, "was the best of times . . . it was the age of wisdom . . . it was the epoch of belief . . .it was the season of Light . . . it was the spring of hope . . . we had everything before us . . .we were all going direct to Heaven . . . ." (A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens.) At least, that's the way I felt about it. We were truly blessed.

- Ouida Tomlinson -

This blog is a place for 1958 graduates of Meridian, Mississippi, High School to stay in touch, post their news, items of interest and photographs.

CLASS OF 1958 MEMORIES (Click to read all posts relating to sports, honors, graduation and other memories of our class in 1957-58.)




Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tommy L. Ranager, Husband of Nancy Collier Ranager

Long-time Millsaps athletic coach Tommy Ranager, 68, passed away Monday, March 22, 2010 at the Brandon Court Nursing Home in Brandon. Visitation will be held today from 10am. until the 11am funeral service at Ott & Lee Funeral Home in Brandon. Graveside services are 3pm. today at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Meridian.

Born in Meridian, Mississippi on September 19, 1941, to Cecil L. Ranager and Annell Hansen, Tommy grew up in Meridian and attended Meridian public schools where he excelled in athletics.

He graduated from Mississippi State University where he was a starting offensive guard and defensive linebacker for the Bulldog football team. While at State he was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity and MSU M Club.

He married Nancy Collier of Meridian and began his coaching career in Hazelhurst, Mississippi, where he coached football under Charles Calloway. His older son Cecil McKinley (Ken) was born in Hazlehurst and his younger son Thomas Clay was born soon after his move to Millsaps College.

In 1964 Tommy began a long, successful, happy career at Millsaps. For 25 years Tommy served as Coach Harper Davis' only assistant. Together they won games, broke records and touched the lives of hundreds of young men and women.

Coach Davis retired after 25 years, and Tommy became head football coach, concluding his career at Millsaps in 1996 after 32 years. His greatest joy was in knowing of the success and accomplishments of his former players and students.

During his tenure at Millsaps Coach Ranager taught health and physical education while also serving as the Majors' head baseball coach for nineteen years. He was succeeded by the current coach Jim Paige who was his former student and baseball player.

In 1975 Coach Ranager led the defensive unit to finish first in the nation in both scoring defense and total defense. In 1980 he led the defensive unit to set the Division III mark in scoring defense for a season by holding the opposition to 3.4 points per contest. In 1991 he led the football team in capturing its first Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship.

Coach Ranager was inducted into the Millsaps Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995. In 2005 he was honored when Millsaps named the field house The Tommy Ranager Field House. An academic scholarship was also established in his name.

After retirement Tommy worked for Rankin County School District Alternative School under principal Jamie McKlemurry.

Tommy treasured his friends from all areas of life. He loved the outdoors and all it had to offer. He enjoyed hunting and fishing and sharing stories about past adventures. He was a wonderful cook and could easily draw a crowd whenever he fired up the grill or got out his gumbo pot -- the longer it took, the better! He delighted in friends and family especially his six grandchildren.

He was a life-long Baptist and a charter member of Brandon Baptist Church.

He was preceded in death by both parents. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Nancy Collier Ranager and his sons, Ken Ranager (Tana), Clay Ranager (Heather) and grandchildren Thomas Collier Ranager, Catherine McKinley Ranager, Cecil Hudson Ranager, Laura Preston Ranager, Mary Cecille Ranager and Jane Marie Ranager.

Other survivors include much loved stepmother, Helen Ranager; brothers, George Ranager (Beth) of Meridian, Ab Demoran and Louis Demoran of D'Iberville; and sisters, Cecilia Ranager Jackson of Meridian and Kandie Taylor (David) and Mary Scott of D'Iberville, Mississippi.

Memorials may be directed to Millsaps College for the Tommy Ranager Field House, Millsaps College Tommy Ranager Academic Scholarship or Brandon Baptist Church Building Fund.

The memory of a just man is a blessing." Proverb

Source: The Clarion Ledger

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