Benjamin Turner Banks Jr., 86, of Covington, died Oct. 22. The son of Benjamin Turner and Lucy Floyd Banks, he was born in 1921 in Forsyth. He attended Emory at Oxford and Emory University in Atlanta. In 1942, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and served as bombardier-navigator of a B-26 Marauder in the 9th Air Force, flying 47 missions over occupied Europe. In 1945 he returned to work with his father in the cotton business in Forsyth, where he met Barbara Nobles, a student and school nurse at Tift College. They married and moved to Covington in 1956, where Mr. Banks joined his brother-in-law Southwood Morcock to establish the Morcock-Banks Insurance Agency, later Banks Insurance Agency, from which he retired in 1994.
Mr. Banks lived a life of Christian service, loving his church Covington First United Methodist. He expressed this love in countless simple acts of kindness. He taught the Christian Fellowship Sunday School class and founded the church's tape ministry. The program grew, and in an interview earlier this year, Mr. Banks said, "I call this system we have now second to none." For 28 years he provided tapes for homebound members, edited the Sunday services for WGFS radio and worked the sound for worship services, weddings and funerals.
Mr. Banks was a member of Gideon International and Kiwanis and was on the board of directors of Repairers of the Breach, a homeless outreach ministry. He contributed over 4,000 volunteer hours with the Newton General Hospital Auxiliary and was a supporter of the Refugee Pregnancy Center. To all his endeavors, Mr. Banks brought ready intelligence, a determined work ethic and a gentle spirit. His was a life lived to the full.
Surviving are wife Barbara Nobles Banks of Covington, originally of Newport News, Va.; daughters and sons-in-law Marigene and David Haas of Athens, Bobby Wrenn Banks and David Root of Decatur; grandchildren Lennon and Natalya Hass, Paul and Betsy Root, a devoted community of sisters-in-law, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, at First United Methodist Church with the Rev. John Whatley and the Rev. Royeese Stowe officiating. Interment will follow at Lawnwood Memorial Park. The family will receive friends at Caldwell & Cowan Funeral Home, 1215 Access road, today, Oct. 24, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. In lieu of flowers, send memorial gifts to the restoration campaign of Covington First United Methodist Church, the 1860 building that was Mr. Banks' spiritual home for 51 years, FUMC, Building Repair Fund, 1113 Conyers St., Covington, 30014.