James William “JW” Bankston, 90, formerly of Birmingham, passed away on January 28 in Decatur, Alabama.
Visitation will be at 10am, Saturday, February 5 at Jefferson Memorial Funeral Home and Gardens in Trussville, Alabama. Funeral services will be immediately following at 11am.
James was born on November 28, 1931 to William Andrew Bankston and Annie Gertrude Kuykendall Bankston in Haleyville, Alabama. He was preceded in death by his parents, 2 brothers, and 8 of his 9 sisters.
James is survived by his wife Annie Lou Bankston, daughter Melanie Holmes (David) of Decatur, son Eric Bankston of Birmingham, grandson Drew Holmes (Ashley) of Kansas City, and granddaughter Ashley Brewer (Will) of Florence.
After graduating from Haleyville High School, he enlisted in the United States Air Force. He served as an intelligence officer for four years, including two years in Japan during the Korean War.
After his service in the Air Force, James attended Massey Business College in Birmingham. He then was employed by H.N. Donahoo Contracting Company as a dispatcher, where he worked his way up to CEO and retired in 1989. He married Annie Lou Burkhalter on June 17, 1961. They built a wonderful life together in Birmingham with their two children and made many fond memories with family and friends. James served as a deacon at First Baptist Church of Center Point, where he and his wife were members for over 50 years.
Most of James’s time was spent with his family, serving his church, or tending to his gardens. He enjoyed digging in God’s earth and growing many plants, trees, and flowers. He loved growing his own produce and sharing the fruits of his labor with friends and neighbors.
James and his wife moved to Decatur in March 2018 to be near their daughter and son-in-law, as aging necessitated. There they joined Central Park Baptist Church, where their son-in-law serves on staff, and they have had the continued support of church family.
Pallbearers will be Drew Holmes, Will Brewer, Kevin Pierce, Josh Hallman, Wesley Ray, and Brad Gibson.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to www.sendrelief.org, choosing “Send Relief - Greatest Need” in memory of Mr. James Bankston.
The family of James also wishes to extend our sincere thanks to Westminster Assisted Living of Decatur for their care and hospitality during the past nine months, and to Hospice of the Valley as well.