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Remembering Ross “Rocky” Fleming, III

by Cass Teague
Ross “Rocky” Fleming, III

Ross Fleming III, known for his generous spirit, kind heart, and unwavering commitment to making his community a better place, was born on October 13, 1960, to the late Dr. Ross Fleming Jr. and Dr. Bernardeen Olive Bennett Fleming at Flower Hospital in Toledo, Ohio. Ross’s spiritual journey began at an early age with his baptism at Mt. Olive Baptist Church. He later found solace and community at Gordon Memorial United Methodist Church and The Temple Church.

Ross, affectionately known as “Rocky” spent his early years in Nashville, growing up on Buchanan Court and Drakes Branch. He spent a joyful childhood creating lasting memories with his three sisters, Jackie, Kim, and Allyson. His charismatic nature and boundless talents, especially in music, where he mastered the bass guitar and lent his harmonious 2nd baritone voice to numerous choirs, endeared him to all who knew him.

Rocky attended St. Vincent DePaul School, then Father Ryan and Maplewood High Schools, before attending the illustrious Tennessee State University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and a second degree in Nursing. While pursuing his nursing degree from Tennessee State University, Ross met and married his former wife Tamela Brandenberg. In 2014, he completed further studies at Villanova University receiving Certification in Project Management.

The breadth and depth of his work impacted the world of health care. He held extensive positions at Meharry Medical College that included serving as Public Health Program Director for the Division of Minority Health and Disparity Elimination, Capacity Building Program Manager, Assistant Director of Operations, and served as Director of Behavioral Health Practice at the time of his untimely departure.

When not taking advantage of his love for travel or sports, Ross was fully engaged with the development of not only himself but those around him. He was a Lifetime member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated, initiated in the Fall of 1983 as one of “The Unconquerable Five” through the Nashville Alumni Chapter. He proudly held numerous positions on the local and province level of his beloved Fraternity. Ross was also a member of Prince Hall Lodge # 1 F. & A.M., J. A. Henry Consistory #48 AASR and Hella Temple #105 AEAONMS. Through both of these organizations, his impact on our community cannot be overstated. His push to educate men in particular on health issues has established a lasting legacy that continues to inspire us all.

Preceded in death by his father, Dr. Ross Fleming Jr., and his sister, Dr. Jacqueline Fleming Hampton, his passing on May 7, 2024 has left a void in the hearts of all who knew and loved him. Yet amid the sorrow, his mother Dr. Bernardeen Fleming stands as a pillar of strength, courage, and love as she mourns the loss of her son. Ross’ children, Ross Fleming IV, Gabrielle Alise Campbell, and Piper Alana-Marie Fleming also face the difficult task of coming to terms with the loss of their father. Ross is also survived by his sisters Kimberly Denise Fleming and Dr. Allyson Faye Fleming; a devoted nephew, Patrick Hampton Jr.; cousins Armond Hocker, William Evans, Carlos Warner, Jaqueline Williams Stacy Randall; devoted friend Kimberly McBride, and a host of other family and friends.

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