BANKEY, GEORGE passed away on April 7, 2014. He was 85 years old. Born on October 4, 1928, George was the son of Anne Lesniak and George Bankey, Sr. He grew up in Daisytown, PA alongside three sisters, Dorothy, Irene and Pauline. Early on, his favorite pastimes included playing baseball and fishing. He graduated from California High School (Brownsville, PA) in 1946 and upon graduation, joined the Navy. After his first tour, he re-enlisted in the Marines and remained on active duty until 1967. While on active duty, he fought and was wounded in the Korean War. Non-wartime duties included tours in Korea, Japan, the Phillipines and a two-year assignment inspecting United States Embassies in 54 countries around the world. While stationed at Fort Holabird in Baltimore, MD, George met Jean, his future wife, in 1965. They dated for a few months and were married on Thanksgiving Day 1966. By 1968, George retired from the Marine Corps at the rank of Gunnery Sergeant, graduated from Towson State College with a degree in Education and a concentration in History, secured a teaching job at Glen Burnie High School, bought his first house and had his first child, Laura. Mark was born in 1970 and Robert was officially adopted, completing the family. George spent the next several years teaching and raising his children. He loved traveling and would often pile the family into the car for day trips or extended vacations. After his kids had grown and he had retired (for a second time) from teaching, George and Jean continued to travel and would often participate in Volksmarches around the country. His favorite activity in recent years (besides spoiling his grandchildren) was volunteering at the Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge near Rock Hall, MD. Often he would take the 150 mile round trip to the refuge two or more times a week to help out with various projects. He would mow the grass, participate in bird counts, help with the deer hunts, work in the gift shop anything that was asked of him. Eastern Neck held a special place in his heart and he had many, many fond memories of the place and the people there. George was preceded in death by his parents, three sisters and one brother. He is survived by his wife of almost 48 years, his three children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. A private celebration will be held to celebrate his life. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: The Friends of Eastern Neck P.O. Box 450, Rock Hall, MD 21661.
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Published in the Maryland Gazette on Apr. 16, 2014