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Benjamin Turner Banks Jr.

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Family-Placed Death Notice

BENJAMIN TURNER BANKS, JR. Benjamin Turner Banks, Jr., 86, of Covington, GA, died October 22, 2007. Mr. Banks was born on February 4, 1921 in Forsyth, GA to Benjamin Turner and Lucy Floyd Banks. 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 Nazi-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 in 1949 and moved to Covington in 1956, where Ben joined his brother-in-law, Southwood Morcock, to establish the Morcock-Banks Insurance Agency, later Banks Insurance Agency, from which he retired in 1994. Ben Banks lived a life of Christian service and loved his church, Covington First United Methodist, with all his heart. He expressed this love in countless simple acts of kindness and gentle words. He taught the Christian Fellowship Sunday School class for many years. He founded the church's tape ministry in 1979, with a single piece of equipment on his lap. Over the years the program grew in breadth and quality, and in an interview earlier this year Mr. Banks remarked, "I call this system we have now second to none." For 28 years, he provided tapes for homebound members, edited Sunday services for WGFS radio, and worked the sound for worship services, weddings, and funerals. Mr. Banks served his community as a member of Gideon International, the Kiwanis Club, and the board of directors of Repairers of the Breach, a homeless outreach ministry. He contributed approximately 4000 volunteer hours with the Newton General Hospital Auxiliary, and was a strong supporter of the Refugee Pregnancy Center. To all of his endeavors, Mr. Banks brought ready intelligence, a determined work ethic, and a gentle and generous spirit. In his devotion to family and friends, church and community, his was a life lived to the full. Mr. Banks is survived by his wife, Barbara Nobles Banks of Covington, originally of Newport News, VA; daughters and sons-in-law, Marigene and David Haas of Athens, Bobbie Wrenn Banks and David Root of Decatur; grandchildren, Lennon and Natalya Haas, Paul and Betsy Root. In addition, he leaves a devoted community of sisters-in-law, cousins, nieces, nephews, and many friends. Funeral services for Mr. Bankswill be held Thursday, October 25, 3:00 PM at the Covington First United Methodist Church, 1113 Conyers Street (www.fumccovington.org) with interment following at Lawnwood Memorial Park, 1111 Access Road. Rev. John Whatley and Rev. Royeese Stowe will officiate. The family will receive friends at Caldwell & Cowan Funeral Home, 1215 Access Road, Covington, Wednesday, October 24, 2-4 PM and 7-9 PM. In lieu of flowers, please send memorial gifts to the restoration campaign of the beautiful 1860 church building that was Mr. Banks' spiritual home for 51 years. This vital steeple-to-foundation campaign, called "Follow the Star," was a source of great interest and joy to "Mr. Ben." Please make contributions payable to FUMC, marked Building Repair Fund, 1113 Conyers Street SW, Covington, GA 30014.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Oct. 24, 2007
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