Marine veteran remembers slain son Terrance Rankins with sense of pride
By Tony Graf firstname.lastname@example.org January 16, 2013 11:02PM
Cameron Hosey, stepfather of Terrance Rankins, holds a photo of his stepson at his home on Sehring Street in Joliet Township, IL on Wednesday January 16, 2013. He raised Terrance from the time he was 18 months old. Terrance was one of two victims who were involved in a double-slaying in Joliet on January 10, 2013. | Matt Marton~Sun-Times Media
Services set for Joliet murder victims
Visitation for Terrance Rankins will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday at True Vine Missionary Baptist Church, 14324 Marshfield Ave., Dixmoor. The funeral service will be 11 a.m. Saturday at the church.
Visitation for Eric Glover will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 710 W. Marion St., Joliet. The funeral service will be 11 a.m. Friday at the church.
Updated: February 19, 2013 2:17PM
JOLIET TOWNSHIP — Cameron Hosey is a Marine veteran and a retired employee of Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill.
He looks back on his time as a father and sums it up plainly: He did not allow nonsense in his house. Zero tolerance.
Hosey raised Terrance Rankins with loving discipline from the time the child was 18 months old, and the child grew up to be a loving and respectful son, the father said. Two decades ago, Hosey moved Terrance, his older brother Roderick, and their mother Jamille Kent from a Lynwood apartment to a single-family home in Joliet Township.
Hosey now grieves over the death of Terrance, 22, who was killed last week in Joliet along with his friend, Eric Glover, 22, of Joliet. Four people are charged with first-degree murder for their deaths.
“I raised him, clothed him, fed him. I did everything a parent was supposed to do. He considered me his dad,” Hosey said of Terrance.
Although technically a stepfather, Hosey recognizes himself as a father to Terrance and Roderick in every way. The children grew up in a stable household — a home on Sehring Street where Hosey still lives today, Hosey said.
He is quick to credit Kent, Terrance’s mother, who he still considers a good friend after their divorce five years ago. As a mother, Kent had a central role in this household, he said. Every Sunday, she took the children to True Vine Missionary Baptist Church in Dixmoor.
Terrance grew up in this neighborhood, south of downtown Joliet, and graduated from the same schools his father did: Dirksen Junior High and Joliet West High School. Hosey takes pride in that.
As a Corrections Department employee for 26 years at Stateville, Hosey saw thousands of young men who had taken the wrong path in life. He wanted something better for Roderick. He wanted something better for Terrance.
“That’s why I held onto him — because of what I’ve seen in Corrections,” Hosey said of his late son. “I grabbed ahold of him, I put him under my wing. He had a place to come home from school every day.”
He said Terrance grew up into a loving son, Hosey said.
Hosey suffers from arthritis and needs assistance in maintaining his house. Terrance always came over from his mother’s house to help, Hosey said.
“If I needed any painting done, or any cleaning done, or anything done, he’d say, ‘Pops, come get me,’” Hosey said of Terrance, who also helped cut the grass at the family home.
“If I called, he was Johnny-on-the-spot. He was here.”
Guidance in life
On Wednesday, Hosey said he does not know all the details about what happened to his son and Glover. He misses his son being around the house.
Hosey spoke about the realities of parenting: A man can only take his son so far, and then the son must make his own decisions.
“The thing I wanted him to do was get an education,” Hosey said. “What he did with his education was on him. Once they are grown, you kind of back off. I didn’t want to make choices for him. I wanted him to make his own choices. Once you get there, you’ve got to deal with life.”
“You can guide him. You put him on the path. But when you come to that fork in the road — when he’s grown and he’s a man — you’ve got to man up,” he said. “When you get to that point, it’s up to you on which way you want to go. There’s only one way, and that’s God’s way.”
On Wednesday, a photographer snapped pictures of Hosey holding a portrait of his late son at his home.
“I’m still holding him now. He’s in my heart,” he said.
Some friends sat on the living-room couch, trying to get him to smile for the camera. Ever the Marine, Hosey kept a straight face — an expression of pride for his son.
“I’m smiling for him on the inside.”