John Stafford Banks

John Stafford Banks

Suffolk, VA
04.10.1930 - 10.10.2020
Served in the

The Reverend John Stafford Banks, Chaplain, LTC, USA Retired, died peacefully in his home on October 10th, 2020.  He was born in Richmond, VA and he only child of Allison Herbert Banks and Ruby Lee Pyron Banks.  He grew up in Charlotte, NC.  He attended the public schools there, graduating from Thomasboro High School in 1948.  After graduation John worked as a tent boy for Evangelist Oliver Green.  Feeling the call to the gospel ministry he entered Columbia Bible College, Columbia, SC where he met Jeanne Johnson from Portsmouth, VA.  John graduated in 1952 with a BA degree.  John and Jeanne wed on August 30th, 1952.  In September he entered Erskine Seminary in Due West, SC.  He completed his studies and received his MDIV in 1955 and was licensed and ordained by the First Presbytery of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.  From 1955 until 1966 John pastored three ARP Churches in McCormick, SC, Chester County, SC and Little Rock, AR.  In 1966 he answered his country’s call and joined the US Army becoming the third generation of his family to serve. His assignments took him and his family to Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma, New York, Germany, and Washington D. C.  He also had assignments in Korea and Viet Nam making 9 of his 20 years spent overseas.  During his service John earned an MA in Human Relations from the University of OK and an MA in Sociology from Long Island University NY.  He also had a year of Clinical Pastoral Education at Yale New Haven Hospital in CT.  His service decorations included the Bronze Star, The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, The Army of Occupation Medal (Berlin), and The Legion of Merit.  He retired in 1986 after four remarkable years in West Berlin.  Upon retirement John and family moved to Augusta, GA where he served an ARP Church for over 5 years.  He retired from the pastoral ministry in 1992 and moved to Suffolk.  He supplied the pulpit of several Presbyterian Churches in VA including 6 years at Cape Charles on the Eastern Shore. 

Moving to Suffolk was John and Jeanne’s 27th move.  Having “paid up and prayed up” after 90 years and 6 months on this earth, he was ready to “go up” for his final move to Glory!

He was pre-deceased by his first daughter Mary Alice.  He is survived by the love of his life Jeanne; 5 children: John David (Nancy Barton) of Tucson, AZ, Thaddeus Lee of Carrollton, VA, Timothy Charles (Sue) of Libertyville, IL, Sarah Jean Bowen (Paul) of Carrollton, VA and Deborah Jane of Suffolk, 3 grandchildren: Kyle (Vanessa), Emily Smith (Chris), and Sean, and 3 great grandchildren.   He leaves a sister Cynthia Cook (Barry) of Charleston, SC, a brother Cyrus Lemmond (Candi) of Orcas, WA, and sister Paula Chandler (Mike) of Richmond.  

In lieu of flowers please make contributions to the Horton Wreath Society P. O. Box 6246 Virginia Beach, VA 23456-0246.  Inurnment will be during a family service at the Albert G. Horton, Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery, Suffolk, VA.  Condolences may be registered at


He was a great man, and father in law. I loved him truly.

Manfred P Bowen

John Banks will be greatly missed by his friends at Suffolk AARP Chapter 4030. He was an excellent officer and a faithful friend. Our deepest sympathy to Jeanne and family.

Carol J. Mitchell

Dear Jeanne, I am so very sorry to learn of John’s passing. You and your family are in my prayers and have my deepest sympathy. I sure have missed visiting with you at Remedies.

Debbie Eure

At 96, I have so many wonderful memories of you and John. I love you!

Martha Ashenfelder

Martha Ashenfelder

I am so very sorry for the loss of a wonderful man. What an amazing life he lived! I met Deborah in the Air Force and we have been great friends ever since. I always enjoyed her stories about her Father. I enjoyed visiting with him when he came to Wichita Falls TX. I also enjoyed spending time with him in Nags Head NC during their family beach trips. I will be praying for comfort and strength for you all.

Lisa Reel

What an outstanding write-up about an outstanding man! He meant so much to so many, he touched so many lives. Our prayers are with John’s family. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Carolyn and Turner Coffman

To Jeanne, I was so saddened to hear of the loss of your loved one. I will miss seeing him at the AARP meeting. May the many years that you spent together remain with you and may you have comfort and peace in knowing that God has called another angel. God grant you peace at this most difficult time. Love and God Bless, Sarah Jean Walden

Sarah Walden

Dearest Mrs. Banks, Deborah, and Sarah,

It’s been almost been 50 years since we were neighbors in Illesheim Germany, but some people stay in your heart for a lifetime. My condolences at the passing of your father. He was a good man and he left a beautiful legacy in the family he leaves to remember him and the lives he touched.

Alecia (Madison) Dupont

Mr. Banks was a very sweet man , I really cared a lot about him and will miss him . I just wish I met him sooner so he could have shared some of his wisdom with me. Mr. Banks will be missed on earth but is needed in heaven ....


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