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Hermitage Funeral Home | Old Hickory Cemetery
535 Shute Ln
Old Hickory, TN 37138
(615) 889-0361
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James Ray Bankston Sr.

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James Ray Bankston, Sr.

Hermitage, TN

James Ray Bankston, Sr., age 85, passed January 27, 2014. Mr. Bankston is preceded in death by wife, Velma West Bankston; son, James Ray Bankston, Jr.

Survived by daughter, Gloria Bankston Reece; nephew, Harry Thomas Bankston, Jr.; and many nieces & nephews.

Mr Bankstons was a graduate from St. Aloysius High School. Then graduated from Hinds Jr. College in 1949 and Millsaps College in 1951. He did his post graduate work at Mississippi State University. He proudly served in the Navy reserve from 1947 to 1953. During the Korean War, he was made active from 51 to 53. His career work included Gulf Coast seismic oil exploration, and retired in 1986 from U.S.D.A. Soil Conservations Service, with duties as a contract specialist for archaeological studies on all SCS -NRCS construction projects, and participated in several studies on the New Madrid Fault Zone.

Ray was an avid duck and goose hunter since childhood, around the United States and Canda. After his retirement from SCS, he pursued studies in wildlife with regards to resident Canadian geese and ducks. He did numerous volunteer projects with the TN Wildlife Resource Agency. He was fondly known as "The Old Man" to many in TWRA and the hunting community.

He was a founding member of the Donelson Sportsman Club and a life long member of Ducks Unlimited and the National Rifle Association (NRA). He was known for many years as a breeder and trainer of Labrador Retrievers, and proudly loved & owned "Risky" a state champion labrador. Ray was a communicate of St. Pauls Catholic Church and Holy Rosary Church since 1960.

Services will be held 10 a.m. Friday, with Father Mark Hunt officiating, at Hermitage Funeral Home. Interment to be held at Hermitage Memorial Gardens, with Patriot Guard & Combat Vets, John & Bill Loviza, Joe & Cal Bartson, Jack Hollingsworth, Jay Gore, Teddy Bowden, Garry Dye, Charles Reeves, Steve Lund, and the staff of Hickory Gardens, & Dr. Gina Chandler & staff serving as Honorary Pallbearers.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Red Cloud Indian School, 100 Mission Drive, Pine Ridge, SD 57770; St. Labre Indian School, PO Box 216, Ashland, MT 59003; St. Bonaventure Indian Mission and School, PO Box 610, Thoreau, NM 87323.

Visitation will be held Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m. at

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Published in The Tennessean on Jan. 30, 2014
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