By Dylan Deprey
In small town Arkansas it might just happen that a rattlesnake slithers by while changing the oil on your car. It is once in a lifetime story when it happens two different times, and both encounters happen to end with the rattlesnake looking down the barrel of a shotgun. According to MPD Captain Raymond E. Banks, this was just one of many stories his father had to tell.
At 76-years-old Raymond Banks died from congestive heart failure in a Memphis, TN hospital on Aug. 25, 2016.
He was the father of Raymond E. Banks and Bennie H. Banks. Even after a divorce with their mother, he continued to be a great father and lifelong friend.
He worked manual labor most of his life. As a young man he worked in the cotton fields and later moved on to working construction until he retired.
Banks said that his father lived in the little town of Lockesburg, Arkansas. With plenty of woods and a population of 739 people, he was considered a true outdoorsman who spent most of his time outside hunting and fishing Banks said his father was an outgoing person who had the uncanny ability to talk to anyone about anything. He mentioned a story about the first time his father flew in an airplane, which showcased his father’s welcoming attitude.
It only took 70 years, and his grandson’s birthday to land on Father’s day to catch his first flight for a trip out to San Diego. Banks and his wife accompanied him but their seats were not together.
“I told him I would switch seats so he could sit by my wife and not have to sit alone on his first flight, but he said he would be alright,” Banks said.
After landing safely in San Diego Banks and his wife were surprised to hear random people he had never met calling his father by his first name.
“I guess he was telling people that it was his first flight,” Banks said. “Even the stewardesses were calling him by his first name and telling him how great he did on his first flight.”
He realized that his father had got out of his seat and talked to almost the entire back half of the plane.
“It just showed how friendly he was and his infectious outgoing personality,” Banks said.
With many more stories to be shared in remembrance of Raymond Banks, we at the Milwaukee Courier offer our condolences to the Banks family.