Funeral services for Mr. William Michael "Mike" Banks, age 67, of Gainesville, Ga., will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, at the First Baptist Church, 751 Green St., Gainesville, Ga., with Dr. William Coates Jr. officiating.
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The family will receive friends Thursday evening from 6-8 p.m. at Memorial Park Funeral Home, North, Riverside Chapel, 989 Riverside Drive, Gainesville, Ga. Mr. Banks, who had Pulmonary Fibrosis, died at his home Monday evening.
Born in Gainesville, Ga., in 1946, Mike graduated from Gainesville High School, from Truett-McConnell College with an Associate in Arts Degree and from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism where he was a member of Di Gamma Kappa Broadcast Society.
Mr. Banks was a lifelong member of First Baptist Church, Gainesville, where he earned the ranking of Eagle Scout as a member of Troop 26. While attending the college student Sunday school class taught by Dr. Hugh Mills, he met his future wife, Willia Buquet. He loved singing bass in the church choir. He served as a Stephen Minister and was a longtime deacon. Mike was instrumental in beginning the radio ministry of First Baptist. He was most recently a member of the Anglers Sunday School Class.
Mike began his business career in Gainesville as a disc jockey at WGGA radio station, citing Mr. John Jacobs as his early mentor. Mike then began a career in fundraising at Brenau College in Gainesville. During his years with Brenau, he was proud to help raise the funds for the renovation of Pearce Auditorium. When Mike discovered that actress Amanda Blake, "Miss Kitty," of the television program "Gunsmoke" was an Alumna of Brenau Academy, he contacted her and so began her long tradition of giving to Brenau. While at Brenau, Mike also developed the journalism and marketing programs. Mike then transitioned into Marketing and Banking with Ray McRae as his mentor at First National Bank of Gainesville. He later worked at Gainesville Bank and Trust. During his banking years, Mike led groups in tours of Italy, Scotland and Ireland. At the time of his death, Mike was the Development Officer at the Mike Cottrell College of Business, University of North Georgia, Dahlonega. Throughout his professional career, he also expressed appreciation for the counsel and friendship of Mr. Philip Wilheit of Gainesville, Ga.
Among Mike's business and professional accomplishments, he was particularly proud of two of his interviews, an interview with Braves Hall of Fame member Hank Aaron after witnessing his 500th home run, and his interview of President Jimmy Carter and Sen. Sam Nunn. Mike was active in local and state politics, "supporting the man, not the party." He served as president of the Gainesville–Hall Chamber of Commerce in 1985 and through the Chamber of Commerce, led the Georgia Delegation of State Dignitaries to Gainesville's sister city, Ohito, Japan.
Mike's deep commitment to community service was inspired by Matthew 25:36-40, "whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." NIV.
Mike had extensive professional and civic roles including: Chair, Georgia Bankers Association Marketing Committee; Instructor, Georgia Bankers Association Banking School at the University of Georgia and the American Institute of Banking; District Vice Chair Council for Advancement and Support of Education; Consultant with National Consulting Network of Independent Colleges; Founder and member of Executive Committee of John Jarrard Foundation; Founding Board member of the North Georgia Community Foundation; Chair, Greater Hall County Chamber of Commerce, Family Relations Program, and the Northeast Georgia Medical Center Foundation Legacy Circle Committee; President, Gainesville Kiwanis Club; Treasurer and Board Member, Edmondson-Telford Center for Children; Board Member, Brenau University Board of Advisors; Board Chair, Lakeview Academy; Endowment Chair, Northeast Georgia Council, Boy Scouts of America; Member, Executive Committee, United Way of Hall County; Treasurer and Executive Board, Gainesville College Foundation; Member of Board of Trustees, the former Gainesville College; Member of Leadership Hall County and Leadership Georgia.
Mike's personal interests include photography, golf (as a member of the hole-in-one club), hunting, participating in his men's book club and vacationing with family and friends.
The family wishes to thank the team of physicians, especially Craig Brown, M.D., Pulmonologist, who went to extraordinary lengths to help Mike in his fight with Pulmonary Fibrosis.
Mike is survived by his wife of 42 years, Willia Elizabeth Buquet Banks; daughter, Joy Banks; and grandson, Max Stone, all of Gainesville; son, Bob Banks, daughter-in-law Kirsten Banks and granddaughter Ansley Banks, all of Cumming; brother, JP Banks of Gainesville; brother, Rod Banks, sister-in-law Susan Banks; and nephews Rodney Banks Jr. and Charlie Banks, all of Pasadena, Calif. He is the son of Charlotte Banks of Gainesville and the late Bill Banks.
Memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church, 751 Green St., Gainesville, GA 30501.
Memorial Park North Riverside Chapel, 989 Riverside Drive, Gainesville, GA 30501. 770-297-6200 or for online condolences www.memorialparkfuneralhomes.com.
Memorial Park North Riverside Chapel
989 Riverside Drive Gainesville, GA 30501
Published in gainesvilletimes.com from Jan. 8 to Jan. 9, 2014