Leonard J. Ruck Funeral Home, Inc. - Baltimore
5305 Harford Road
Baltimore, MD 21214
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Richard John Bankerd

1943 - 2014 Notice Condolences
Richard John Bankerd Notice

Early in the morning on May 2, 2014, Richard passed away after a brief battle with lymphoma; while being comforted by family members at Gilchrist Hospice Center in Towson, MD. Richard was 71 years old. Richard Bankerd was born on January 3, 1943 in Baltimore, MD. He was a loving husband, devoted father, and an artist of unparalleled talent. He was a featured dancer and committee member on The Buddy Deane Show which started a lifelong love affair with the jitterbug. He never lost his love of dance and could always be found cutting rugs with his wife and partner every opportunity they were given. Richard began his hairstyling career at the age of fifteen in his mother's neighborhood beauty shop. Despite being entirely self-taught he rose to become the most decorated hairstylist in the world within twenty years. He won first prize in every major styling competition in the United States and is the only hairdresser to represent his Nation on four World Championship teams. In 1975, Richard won both The America's Cup and The World Supreme competitions, the highest awards on the national and international level. He is the only stylist ever to have done so in the same year. Richard's extraordinary accomplishments were celebrated when he became the youngest winner of the prestigious National Hairdressers' and Cosmetologists' Association's highest award of honor; The International Medallion. The Medallion is presented to stylists who have "made an outstanding contribution to the profession at the international level". He is the only recipient ever to be honored for their 'skill and artistic mastery'. Richard's passion for of all of the arts propelled him to lend his talents to countless theatrical productions over the past twenty-five years. He inspired all around him with his vivid and delightful performances, transformative make-up designs, jaw-dropping wig and hair creations, and fabricated costume pieces ranging from a dragon and a Jabberwocky to snowmen. Richard was also an invaluable critic, director, coach, and mentor with a keen eye for detail and a remarkable sense of theatre. Richard Bankerd is preceded by his mother, Dorothea; his aunt, Evelyn; and his sister, Jackie. Richard is survived by his wife, Marie; his children, Troy, Chad, and Lance; his daughter-in-law, Erika; his cousins, Joyce and Roseanne; his niece, Kellie; his nephew, Francis; and his grandson, August. He is also survived by hundreds of clients, colleagues, and admirers who were his dearest friends. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at the Sacred Heart Of Jesus Church (600 S. Conkling Street, Baltimore, MD 21224) on Friday at 10 AM. Friends may call at the family-owned Leonard J. Ruck, Inc. Funeral Home, 5305 Harford Road (at Echodale) on Wednesday and Thursday, 3-5 and 7-9 PM. Interment Parkwood Cemetery.
Published in Baltimore Sun on May 5, 2014
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