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Walter Leon Banks
October 22, 1950 ~ December 26, 2023 (age 73) 73 Years Old
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Walter Leon Banks, age 73, passed away at his New Franklin, MO home on the morning of December 26, 2023.
Born at St. Jospeh Hospital in Boonville, MO on October 22, 1950, to Leon Banks and Phyllis (Lindsay) Mcllvain, Walter grew up in New Franklin where he attended school until his sophomore year. His junior and senior years he attended Boonville High School. At both New Franklin and Boonville, he played basketball and was such a talented player that he earned the nickname “The Machine.” While he was on the Boonville team, they took second in the state in the 1967-1968 season, which was the farthest that Boonville has ever gotten in a state tournament, and he was named to the All-State team. He then landed a basketball scholarship at CMSU in Warrensburg, MO where he majored in computer programming.
Walter was a dedicated, hard worker. In May of 1975, he took a position as a programmer for Shelter Insurance in Columbia, MO where he rose to the position of senior analyst. He worked there just shy of 37 years until his retirement in March of 2012.
He was a kind soul, volunteering at the Food Bank and donating blood to the Red Cross. He served as an alderman in the New Franklin city council and helped organize the Santa Fe Trail Days for many years.
He was outgoing and personable, wouldn’t hesitate to strike up a conversation with a stranger.
He was a Christian, attended First Christian Church in New Franklin from birth, and apart from the time he lived in Columbia, he was an active member until they closed their doors in 2016. More recently, he attended the First Christian Church in Boonville.
He was still athletic in his adult years, bowling and playing softball. He also loved to watch sports, was a fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Antonio Spurs, and the St. Louis Cardinals.
He was adventurous, a world traveler. His boys have many amazing stories of all the places he took them to throughout the years.
He loved his children and grandchildren fiercely. They met for lunch together every Sunday after church. He was playful and had a good sense of humor. During these lunches, if at a restaurant where he had to give his name for them to call out when a table or food was ready, he would tell them his name was “Mr. Wonderful,” embarrassing the grandchildren. He was wonderful in so many ways, and he will be fondly remembered by all who knew him well.
He was preceded in death by his parents and is survived by two sons: Matthew Banks of New Franklin and Adam Banks of Boonville, three grandchildren: Gwen Pattan, Fletcher Wadeen, and Grady Banks, brother James David Banks, nephew John Banks, niece Daleen Banks, and many cousins and friends all over the country.
He will be remembered forever for his silly, smart, outgoing adventurous spirit and that huge smile. We will miss him, but he lives on in the lessons he taught us and in all the memories we will hold dear.
His memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 6, 2024, at Markland-Yager Funeral Home, 3855 Hwy. 5 N in New Franklin, MO, the visitation from 1-2 p.m. followed by the service at 2 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations by made to The American Red Cross and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.