Jesse Homer Bankston Sr.
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Jesse Homer Bankston passed away at home in Baton Rouge on Thursday, Nov. 25, 2010. Jesse was 103, having been born in Mount Hermon on Oct. 7, 1907. He attended LSU, where he received his B.A. degree in 1933 and his M.A. degree in 1936. He completed his course and residency requirements for his Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina in 1939. Upon his return to Baton Rouge, he served as a management consultant charged with reorganization of Louisiana government. In 1942, he became an organizational specialist in the Civil Service Department. He moved to the state Department of Institutions in 1944 as administrative assistant and became director of the department in 1947. After serving as the director of the state Hospital Board from 1948-1952, he left state government to open his health-care consulting firm, Bankston and Associates. In 1956, Gov. Earl K. Long recruited Jesse to return to state service as director of the newly created Department of Hospitals, where he served until 1959. Returning to his consulting practice, he received national and international recognition for his work with over 200 health-care organizations in the U.S. and Central America. Jesse was elected president of the American Academy of Healthcare Consultants and president of the International Institute of Hospital Consultants. Jesse continued his consulting practice until 1990. He was passionate about improving education in Louisiana and was elected to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in 1968, where he served for 28 years. During his tenure he served as secretary and chairman of the board. He also was the longest serving member of the Louisiana Democratic State Central Committee, having served for 51 years until his death. During his term on the State Central Committee, he served as secretary and chairman. In 2002, he was inducted into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame. Information regarding his career is displayed in the Louisiana Political Museum in Winnfield. In 1948, Jesse assisted in the formation of the Louisiana Hospital Association and served as its first secretary until permanent staff was hired in 1956. In addition to his health-care, education and political pursuits, he also served as president of the Baton Rouge YMCA, Young Men's Business Club, Mental Health Association and Tuberculosis Society. He was a founding member of LSU Lagniappe Studies and The Sons and Daughters of the Providence and Republic of West Florida. He wrote and published several genealogical references, a book about Gov. Earl K. Long and, more recently, a memoir entitled "Memories of a Country Boy," chronicling his boyhood life in Washington Parish. He also served on the boards of Louisiana Public Broadcasting, Boy Scouts of America, Salvation Army, Camp Fire and the United Way. Jesse was a member of Masonic Lodge 52 Jerusalem Temple, Shrine Club, Gen. Philemon Thomas Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, American Hospital Association and Louisiana Hospital Association. He was a member of the Broadmoor Baptist Church, where he served as a member of the Board of Trustees. In 2007, Jesse was awarded the inaugural T.J. Jemison Race Relations Award by Mount Zion First Baptist Church in Baton Rouge. The presentation noted that "Mr. Bankston has spent his life working to bring people together regardless of their race, ethnicity or religious backgrounds." The family would like to note our appreciation for the loving care given to Jesse by Mrs. Sue Burton and Ms. Ella Lollis and the steadfast friendship of Paul Duell. He was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Ruth Paine Bankston; his mother and father, Leon V. and Allie Magee Bankston; and 10 siblings, Zula Dean Swetman, Albert Roland Bankston, Carl Leon Bankston, Cecil Noel Bankston, Theresa Louisa Powell, Roy Van Bankston, Jacob Magee Bankston, Mildred Willeana Garrett, Marie Allie Scoggins, and Leo Victor Bankston. He was also preceded in death by his great-grandson, Graham Gibbs Bankston. He is survived by his four children, Shirley Newsham and husband Thomas D. Newsham, Dale L. Bankston and his wife Rebecca Sanders Bankston, Larry S. Bankston Sr. and his wife Lynn Naebers Bankston and Jesse H. Bankston Jr. He is also survived by 12 grandchildren, Amy Newsham Scroggs, Cathleen Newsham Korpics and husband John Korpics, Jennifer Newsham Keeler and husband Dr. Tim Keeler, Dr. Bradley Bankston and wife Christina Kleiner Bankston, Kevin Bankston, Matthew Bankston and wife Leah Star Bankston, Dr. Larry "Chip" Bankston Jr., Lauren Bankston Petty and husband Michael Petty, Benjamin Bankston, Kendall Krielow, Ashlyn Krielow, and Hunter Bankston; five great-grandchildren and a great-great grandchild. Pallbearers will be Paul Bankston, Hunter Bankston, Dr. Larry "Chip" Bankston, Benjamin Bankston, Kevin Bankston, Matthew Bankston, and Dr. Bradley Bankston. Honorary pallbearers will be Walter Bankston, Paul Duell, Judge Frank Foil, Judge James Brady, Victor Bussie and John Mmahat. Visitation will be Thursday, Dec. 2, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday, Dec. 3, from 8 a.m. until service at 10 a.m. at Greenoaks Funeral Home, 9595 Florida Blvd. The Rev. George Haile will preside. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Volunteers of America or a charity of your choice.

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Published in The Advocate from Nov. 28 to Dec. 2, 2010.
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23 entries
November 28, 2020
A fine upstanding man of high character. My family grew up in same neighborhood. We were the Batemans. He is missed.
Claire French
December 14, 2019
Jesse had a long, colorful career which, as a journalist, I appreciated. My interviews with him tended to devolve into political gossiping. He had a lot of it. He was a class act.
John Hill
December 4, 2010
It was a great privilege to know Jesse and on my visits with him, we enjoyed reviewing his life and career. He enjoyed a record that I played for him on Earl Long's various comments. We will all miss him greatly.
Gordon Jarnagin
December 4, 2010
With Uncle Jesse's passing goes a wonderful era in history and a remarkable generation of Bankstons. As the last and longest-lived of the eleven siblings to leave us, Jesse donned the mantle of family patriarch and wore it with grace, dignity, and purpose for many years, doing everything he could to keep us all conscious of our rich family heritage and connected to one another in a spirit of blessed "belonging" within that large and growing circle. Uncle Jesse loved his country, his state, and his community; he loved his church, his family, and his many friends and colleagues; he loved life---and it showed. What an honor, privilege, and joy it has been to call him my Uncle and to share in his remarkable life of caring, giving, loving, and serving. I miss him terribly, already.
Patricia Powell
December 3, 2010
Larry, Lynn and family very sorry and you are in our thoughts and prayers. Deborah & Terry Shirley told me this morning. Your father led a long, remarkable life.
Sean & Colleen Charlton
December 2, 2010
Larry Bankston and family; Please accept my heartfelt sympathy in the loss of your Father. You and your family will be in my prayers and thoughts. God bless you all.

Sheryl Harrison
Sheryl Harrison
December 2, 2010
Dear Shirley and the Bankston family. I only got to know Mr. Jesse in the more recent years but came to appreciate him so much because of his love of Louisiana and all of its people. May you have peace and fond memories of him for all the good years he had here with us. May the Lord bless and keep you near in the days ahead. Bollan and Nell Corkern
December 2, 2010
Mr. Bankston was a true Southern gentleman and friend to thousands. i will always cherish my friendship with him and his family. Louisiana has lost a great son.
jr. Shelton
December 2, 2010
It is with great sadness that I learned of Mr. Bankston's passing. It is with a sad heart but one full of love that I extend my deepest sympathy to the Bankston Family. May God give you piece in your time of sorrow. Jesse was my friend, my ally and my political mentor. We traveled many political roads together and his kindness, guidance and understanding will forever be in my heart. We have all lost a true gentleman and a dear friend. May God have a special place for Jesse Bankston because he will be missed by everyone that knew him.
J. Kelly Nix
December 2, 2010
To the Bankston family,
I am grateful to have known Mr. Bankston. He was a good friend to my father for many, many years and a wonderful man. He never ceased to care about my sister and I as well as the rest of our family. Please know that our thoughts are with you during this time. I'm sure that you are not only proud of his accomplishments but the way he lived his life. He found a trusted caretaker in Sue and I'm sure she will miss him alot.
Stephanie Duell
December 2, 2010
Our thoughts and prayers are with you in the loss of your Father. The pictures are evidence of the wonderful memories you will have to cherish. We will continue to keep the famly in our prayers.
Lester and Mary Jo Arnold
December 1, 2010
Let the life we live speak for us. I send my heart felt sympathy to the Bankston family. I feel so happy to have heard how this wonderful man was so nice and pleasant to the people of the world. I was always amazed to hear how he was so kind to others and during his illness he kept the strenght to say kind words and to be kind. I have heard so much about him and I just had to say that I have been praying for your family and do know that your father was an extraordinary man. We need more men like him. The day he passed he was so much on my mind. I only know of him because of the beautiful things Ms. Ella would say as she so willingly enjoyed caring for him and his children she spoke so highly of. It's a blessing. God bless you all.
Valerie Favorite
December 1, 2010
Dear Shirley and all members of the Bankston family:
What a full, wonderful life Jesse has lived. I know you'll miss him. My prayers and thoughts are with you all.
Barbara Strickland
December 1, 2010
Jesse Bankston was a true friend. Jesse and Ruth made us feel like members of their family. Toni Morrison and I were grateful for that experience. My sincere sympathy to the entire family.
Linda Stewart Morrison Newton
December 1, 2010
Jesse Bankston was a fine man, true to his beliefs - Uncle Earl was ill, after all - and a great storyteller. How I enjoyed my conversations with him over the decades that it was my privilege to know and interview him. My sympathies to his extended family.
John Hill
Former Bureau chief, Gannett Newspapers
John Hill
December 1, 2010
I am saddened by the death of Mr. B. He gave me a job and believed in me when others did not. He was a true gentleman. I have many fond memories of the stories he used to share. What a fine life he lead. May God give you peace in this time of sorrow.
Brenda French
December 1, 2010
My thoughts and prayers are with you this holiday season and always.
Gladys Watts
November 30, 2010
A Louisiana treasure. I will miss him.
Brad Orman
November 30, 2010
Mr. Jesse was the epitome of a true Southern gentleman. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dale & Becky and the entire Bankston clan. Alice & Brian Patin
November 30, 2010
To the Bankston Family, I am saddened by your father's death. He was a true friend indeed and will be missed by so many. I am remembering you in my prayers during these difficult days.I have happy memories of him and of your mother. Most sincerely. Nancy L. Brown (Mrs. Billy Brown)
November 29, 2010
our thoughts and prayers go out to all of you at this time, As we know the death of a father leaves an empty place in your heart.
The family of Jack Lawson
Elizabeth Reese
November 29, 2010
Jesse was a remarkable man in many ways--principled, tenacious, loyal, competent--and I count him as one of my great friends. We are richer for having had him. We are poorer because he is gone.

My sincere condolences to the family.

Irvin Cheney
November 29, 2010
To the Family,

On behalf of myself, my family and Clinton Police Department we express our deepest sympathy. Our prayers and thoughts are with you during your times of sorrow and loss. May God bless all of you and keep you strong.
Chief Eddie Stewart
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