Jonathan Boyce Bankhead Sr.
Share Jonathan's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Jonathan Boyce Bankhead, Sr. COLUMBIA - Jonathan Boyce Bankhead, Sr., died Sunday, January 12, 2020, after a hard-fought battle against brain cancer. He died at home, surrounded by his wife and children. Jonathan was 45 years old. Jonathan loved a good party, cold beer, cheap red wine, khaki shorts, Rainbow flip flops and all things Auburn University. His life was rich with family and friends. He was a loyal friend. The son and brother you'd hope for. The son-in-law and brother-in-law you pray for. And a once-in-a-lifetime husband and father. He was the son of the Reverend Doctor James Boyce Bankhead, Jr., and Martha (Cissy) Bankhead of Spartanburg. He was the son-in-law of Addie Crolley McAlister of Columbia and the late Van McLaurin McAlister. A native of Opelika, Alabama, Jonathan was a two-sport star at Opelika High School where he lettered in tennis and basketball. He was a high school state champion tennis player, and his high school basketball coach said he was the best player he had ever coached. He earned a basketball scholarship to Presbyterian College where he graduated with a degree in biology. He was also a member of Theta Chi fraternity. Although his college years were spent at PC, he was born an Auburn Tiger. And he died an Auburn Tiger. Jonathan joined Hertz/Herc Corporation in 1997 and spent his entire professional career as a commercial sales rep. His colleagues referred to him as the ultimate co-worker. He was a top salesperson regionally and nationally, receiving numerous awards. He served as a mentor to many and was called the most selfless individual on the Herc team. Jonathan maintained the top sales positions even through his 15-month battle with glioblastoma. He twice won the President's Award, the highest and most prestigious award in the Herc organization. Jonathan was a lifelong Presbyterian and a member of Eastminster Presbyterian Church. An avid golfer, he was a member of Forest Lake Club. An exceptional tennis player, he played both singles and doubles and won too many state championships to count. He coached youth league basketball and baseball and played recreational and church league basketball even after he was diagnosed with cancer. He particularly loved the post-game celebrations with The Posse. Jonathan had the gift of bringing people together, listening to good music and making good memories. He could always be found with his speaker and a current favorite song on repeat. He loved a party, and we loved him back. Jonathan is survived by his wife of 21 years, Vanessa McAlister Bankhead; and their three children: Jonathan Boyce Bankhead, Jr., William Gardiner McAlister Bankhead and McLaurin Elizabeth Bankhead. In addition to his parents and mother-in-law; he is also survived by brothers, Steven Bankhead (Lori) of Los Angeles, CA, and Michael Bankhead (Jen) of Waco, TX; sisters, Carolyn Thomas (Leonard) of Opelika, AL, and Catherine Dunagan (David) of Jacksonville, FL; aunts, uncles and many beloved nieces and nephews. He was pre-deceased by grandparents, Johng'y Bankhead McCaskill and James Boyce Bankhead, Sr., and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Marvin. Visitation is scheduled for Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at Shives Funeral Home, Trenholm Road Chapel, 7600 Trenholm Road Ext., Columbia, from 5 until 7 o'clock. Services will be held at 3 o'clock, Wednesday, January 15th, at Eastminster Presbyterian Church with The Rev. Dr. Bradley D. Smith officiating. Burial will follow the service in Greenlawn Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the youth program at Eastminster Presbyterian Church, 3200 Trenholm Road, Columbia, SC 29204; to Live Oak Counseling Center, 600 King Street, Columbia, SC 29205; or A.C. Flora High School Booster Club, PO Box 6912, Columbia, SC 29260. Memories and condolences may be shared at

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The State on Jan. 14, 2020.
03:00 PM
Eastminster Presbyterian Church
Not sure what to say?
View Printed Guest Book
13 entries
February 5, 2020
To the Bankhead Family, our hearts and prayers are with you. Jonathan was a great vendor and was always diligent, friendly and great to work with. We are deeply sorry to have lost a great guy. He will be missed dearly by the entire Boral Stone Technical Team. ,
Allen Vesterfelt, Boral Stone
January 15, 2020
Dear Vanessa,
I am so very sorry to hear of the loss of your husband. Please know I am praying for you and your family during this difficult time. Praying for peace, comfort and much love for you and your children.
Susan Wynne Thomas
January 14, 2020
Vanessa, I am just so so sad to hear of the passing of your husband. He sounds like an incredible person, full of life! I wish I had met him. I know he will be sorely missed but it seems that he is leaving an amazing legacy and memories. Hugs to you. Much love, Eizabeth Hearon Lindsey
January 14, 2020
Will miss your positive outlook on life evidenced by that bright smile that you had every time I saw you. You got a lot in in a short amount of time and you will be missed but will inspire all who witnessed the dignity of your struggle. RIP Brotherl
Bobby Catoe
January 14, 2020
Morning Stars Arrangement
Send Flowers and Gifts
Sympathy Gift courtesy of
a loved one
January 14, 2020
Our prayers are with the entire family. Jonathan was a good father and friend. Will miss him greatly along with the golf and fellowship. Trippett and Maggie Boineau
Trippett Boineau, Jr.
January 13, 2020
Great guy fun and games with the kids will be missed
Thomas Parrott
January 13, 2020
Sissy and Jimmy, Bill and I are so very sorry for your loss. We always thought so much of Jonathan as a child. Please know your family will be in our thoughts and prayers.
Lura New
January 13, 2020
I played in the same basketball league with "Bankhead" for years. He was taken too soon. You will be missed my friend.
John Lopez
January 13, 2020
May the many memories of Johnathan, bring you peace and joy!
Lisa Price
January 13, 2020
Heartfelt Condolences Arrangement- BASKET INCLUDED
Send Flowers and Gifts
Sympathy Gift courtesy of
a loved one
January 13, 2020
Thinking so much about you and praying that God will continue to give you the strength, courage, comfort and peace that He already has throughout this long road . Your strength has been an inspiration to us! Peggy and Gregg
January 13, 2020
Prayers and arms of love reach out to you in your loss.
Rev & Mrs Wayne Morgan
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences