Robert “Bob” Banks died unexpectedly at Lawrence Memorial Hospital on Monday, December 22, 2014 in Lawrence, KS at the age of 84.
Robert is survived by his wife, Linnie; 3 children Robbi Jenkins of Lawrence, Joseph Banks (Casandra) of Hernando, MS, Cheryl Johnson of Berkeley, CA; 4 grandchildren Zachary, Lauren, Justin, and Cassie.
Robert was born on July 17, 1930 in Columbus, MS to Georgia Harris Walker and raised in Starkville, MS by his grandparents, Mariah and Charlie Harris. He attended and graduated from W.C. Henderson High School in Starkville, MS and then enlisted in the United States Army serving in the Korean War where he earned the Silver Star. He attended Jackson State College (now Jackson State University) from 1953 to 1957 under the G.I. Bill earning a bachelor of science degree in physical education. While at Jackson State, he was a member of the Jackson State Tiger football team and a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity. In April, 1990 Robert was inducted into the Jackson State Tiger Sports Hall of Fame.
He married Linnie, his high school sweetheart in November, 1953. They resided in Starkville, MS where his lifetime of service began working for the Boy Scouts of America. Soon after, he found himself teaching, mentoring, and coaching students at his former high school and his former college. After moving to Aberdeen, Maryland in 1965 he began serving our nation’s veterans over the next 25 years at the following VA hospitals: Perry Point, MD, Coatsville, PA, Montrose, NY and Hines VA Hospital in Chicago, IL from where he retired. During these years, Robert also served in the U.S. Army Reserves retiring with the rank of Lt. Colonel.
Robert has been a member of the Presbyterian Church, USA for many years, serving in various roles in the Chicago Presbytery, and was an Elder Commissioner to the 211th General Assembly. Robert is a member of First Presbyterian Church, Lawrence, KS where he served on the Board of Trustees. Robert was an avid golfer, loved a good cigar, and was passionate about Jayhawk athletics.
Robert will be interred at Leavenworth National Cemetery with full military honors, on Tuesday, December 30th at 10 a.m. with a Service of Witness to the Resurrection to follow at First Presbyterian Church of Lawrence, KS at 12:30 p.m. The Reverend Kent Winters-Hazelton will officiate the ceremony. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Robert’s life. Condolences can be sent to Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, Lawrence, KS. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his name to First Presbyterian Church, Lawrence, KS-Deacon’s Love Fund.