Christi Rankin: leader, friend missed by all



Christi Rankin accomplshed many goals during her tenure as the City of Charlotte Mayor including the renovation of the Charlotte Public Library and helping establish the first ever police department in the city. The mayor first took office in January 2020 and was officially sworn in that same year in November. KELLI CONKLIN COURTESY PHOTO

Christi Rankin accomplshed many goals during her tenure as the City of Charlotte Mayor including the renovation of the Charlotte Public Library and helping establish the first ever police department in the city. The mayor first took office in January 2020 and was officially sworn in that same year in November. KELLI CONKLIN COURTESY PHOTO

The community of Charlotte is mourning the loss of their beloved mayor, Christi Rankin, who passed away Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022.

A Charlotte resident for over 20 years, Rankin was appointed as the Charlotte Mayor on Jan. 9, 2020, following Buddy Daughtry’s resignation. She was sworn in as the 99th mayor of Charlotte on Nov. 3, 2020. Prior to her tenure as mayor, Rankin served on the Charlotte City Council for six years.

Members of the Charlotte city staff and city council spoke about their mayor and friend, who left an impact on her city.

“Mayor Rankin had some great ideas to better the City of Charlotte. She loved the town and the people, and it was evident in the way she invested herself into the city,” said Charlotte Mayor Pro Tem Stephen Porter. “The city council supported her dreams, and we will continue to work on making those dreams come true. We all feel a great loss and Charlotte, though blessed by the way she invested herself into the community, will greatly miss her.”

Stock show season was a family affair for Christi Rankin as she could be found in the stands year after year supporting family and friends in the show ring. She is pictured with Rylee and Addison Stendebach, daughters of Meloni Bonnett Stendebach, at the 2020 McMullen County Livestock. COURTESY PHOTO

Stock show season was a family affair for Christi Rankin as she could be found in the stands year after year supporting family and friends in the show ring. She is pictured with Rylee and Addison Stendebach, daughters of Meloni Bonnett Stendebach, at the 2020 McMullen County Livestock. COURTESY PHOTO

Fellow council member and friend, Liz Ramon, said Rankin was an amazing woman who loved her small town and wanted to make things better with change.

“Her words were, ‘It’s time for change.’ Change did happen. She was a strong leader with visions, and we will continue to do our best to make them happen,” said Ramon. She went on to say the mayor was a dear friend to all who will be missed. “She was full of life and a character who could light up a room really quick. Christi’s absence will be felt. The City of Charlotte staff and council will truly miss her. We stood on the same page as a strong team. I will miss you, my friend. It was a pleasure to work alongside you making those visions happen and we will continue to make them happen as you would have.”

Johnny Heiligman, who has served the longest on council with Rankin, said it was a joy to serve alongside her and watch her in her role as mayor.

“When she stepped up to the mayor’s position, it was wonderful to see her do a job that she loved so much. We were blessed to have her serve our community. I will miss her greatly,” said Heiligman.

Christi Rankin was married to her college sweetheart, Cecil Allen Rankin Jr., for 28 years. COURTESY PHOTO

Christi Rankin was married to her college sweetheart, Cecil Allen Rankin Jr., for 28 years. COURTESY PHOTO

Rosalinda DeLaFuente, Charlotte’s municipal judge, said the mayor was truly an authentic person. “She embodied the best of the human spirit. Mayor Rankin was loved and respected by all who knew her.”

City Secretary Gracie Garcia added that Mayor Rankin’s main objectives when she came into office were to provide better services and a safer environment to the citizens and visitors of Charlotte.

“In many of our conversations, she always said, ‘In order for good changes, we need to work as a team,’” said Garcia. “The last message I received from her was her thanking me for holding the fort down … that’s what she loved most about her team. Both city council and staff will continue to work together. Mayor Rankin was a good leader with many ambitions. She will deeply be missed.”

One of Mayor Rankin’s biggest goals was the Charlotte Public Library where she committed her time and oversaw the reconstruction of the new library which officially opened to the public on Sept. 13, 2021.

“This has been a long time coming for the citizens of Charlotte,” said Mayor Rankin the day of the grand opening. “I want to thank everybody from the contractors to the city employees and all of those who donated grants to make this possible. I really hope you all enjoy it.”

“I will always be grateful that Christi Rankin was one of two people who interviewed me for the position of librarian for the City of Charlotte in 2017,” said Charlotte librarian, Marianne McGinnis. “Her continued involvement as part of the city council, and then mayor, was to have the library project completed. Even though a pandemic set back the opening of the library, her hard work and perseverance will long be remembered as a legacy of her dedication to the community. She will be missed by all who had the privilege of working with her.”

Another goal that Mayor Rankin accomplished during her tenure as mayor was the establishment of the first Charlotte Police Department, which became official on Dec. 10, 2021.

“I am extremely excited about the city’s new police department and the increased public safety that it will offer the residents of Charlotte,” said Mayor Rankin last month. “I am especially grateful to our city staff, Police Chief Rick Luna, Atascosa County and its Sheriff’s Office and EMC for working together to make this project a reality.”

With the help of Charlotte Police Chief Rick Luna and Ernie Gonzalez of EMC Strategy Group, LLC, Rankin sought out all state and federal requirements needed to develop the first Charlotte Police Department.

“One of the mayor’s goals was to get this police department. Today, we are at 90% functional and it was all possible thanks to her. Mayor Rankin was always ready to make our city a better place to live. Her dedication was always there; when she had a task in hand, she made sure it was completed. She still had many goals to accomplish, and while her time got cut short, we will work together as a city to get them completed, said Chief Luna. “She was an amazing mayor. I owe everything to her as she had enough faith in me to head up the police department. She will be very much missed by our community, but we will continue to move forward for her.”

At Commissioners Court Monday morning, Atascosa County Judge Bob Hurley dedicated a moment of silence for the Charlotte mayor.

“Mayor Rankin has been a real partner with Atascosa County and the other cities in Atascosa County. She was a positive person that was very easy to work with on projects. I found her to be a pleasure. I extend my sympathies to her family, friends and all of the citizens of Charlotte,” said Judge Hurley.

Friends of Rankin also shared some comments about the mayor, including Barbara Peeler.

“Christi was a solid friend. She would listen, discuss, give opinions, love you and have fun! She was a great wife and a wonderful mom to three precious daughters,” said Peeler. “Christi was an active supporter of school and community! Overall, she was a five-star person! And … she was a dedicated Longhorn. I loved her and will miss her. She was a keeper.”

Rankin was actively involved with FFA and 4-H, even after her daughters graduated high school. She dedicated her life to not only her family, but to her stock show family as well. Her favorite time of the year was the Atascosa County Livestock Show as nothing made her happier than seeing all of her stock show kids competing in the show ring.

“[She was] hands down the absolute best stock show mama to walk this earth. Thank you for your amazing heart, beautiful smile, friendship and for the way you loved your family so tremendously. ‘Till we meet on the streets of gold my friend, my heart will have an empty spot,” said Meloni Bonnett Stendebach.

Christi Diane Landers Rankin was born Dec. 15, 1970. She attended Texas Christian University in 1989. In 1991, she transferred to UT Austin where she acquired her pharmacy degree. For over two decades, Rankin worked for H-E-B as a pharmacist where she loved helping people and making everlasting relationships. At the time of her passing, she worked for Jourdanton Pharmacy and Avatt Services.

She met her husband, Cecil Allen Rankin Jr., in college and they wed in July 1993. They celebrated their 28th Wedding Anniversary this past summer. Together, they had three daughters, all graduates of Jourdanton ISD: Jordan Hunter Rankin (Tarleton State University graduate), Taylor Paige Rankin (Texas Tech graduate) and Hunter Rae Rankin (Texas Tech senior).

Funeral services for Rankin are pending at this time.

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