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Raymond Reid Banks
July 22, 1946 ~ October 8, 2023 (age 77) 77 Years Old
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Born in Allegheny County, PA to Larney Banks Jr. and Martha Reid, Raymond Reid Banks grew up in Pittsburgh’s borough of Wilkinsburg and was primarily raised by his grandparents Larney Banks Sr. and Maggie Lou Banks. One of his earliest memories is of them having a garden and vineyard, with a chicken coop. He described how they snapped the neck of a chicken and cut off its head, then told him to go catch it. He said, “Boy, I took off running and crying.” His grandfather was a deacon of Monumental Baptist Church in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, where Raymond was baptized and later became the reverend of his own church. Raymond said, “He was a preacher, so we had to go to church EVERY week!”
Raymond shined as a basketball star on both Wilkinsburg High’s J.V. and Varsity teams and he worked off-and-on for his aunt Viola Gibbs at Gibbs Rest Home (a care facility for elders). He recalled that she fired him a bunch of times for not showing up for a month after paydays, but she rehired him again and again.
19-year-old Raymond entered the Army in June of 1965 as a dental hygienist and was quickly deployed to Vietnam as a combat medic. For his efforts in Vietnam, Private Banks earned a Purple Heart, the Vietnam Campaign medal-1960 device, and a Vietnam Gallantry Cross citation with a palm-among other awards. The now decorated war hero was honorably discharged in 1968 and returned home. Being remembered for his basketball skills, he was hired as a custodian for Wilkinsburg’s School District and eventually took other jobs cleaning
Next, Raymond worked at a bar while doubling as a salesman for an insurance company on Penn Avenue where he zeroed in on a young secretary named Donna Miles of Braddock, PA. Being the self-assured, handsome, combination of his African American and Scottish parents, he approached her. In 1970 they welcomed a pair of twins-Angie and Aaron Miles.
According to him, in 1977 after a few drinks, he and a friend went to the Army recruiting station and signed up. He didn’t think too much about it again until the Army came to his door for him. On April 14th, 1977, Private Banks enlisted again as a Food Service Specialist cooking for troops and managing Army dining facilities in Alaska, Germany, Hawaii, New York, North Carolina and Georgia.
In 1984 of his second enlistment, Raymond and his wife experienced the birth of their son Raymond Jerrell Banks in Ludowici, GA and in the early 1990’s he deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Desert Storm where he was awarded the Southwest Asia Service medal for his significant role in support of combat soldiers. Sergeant First Class Banks retired honorably from the Army in 1994 and the non-driver, who
always loved Georgia, made Ludowici and Hinesville, GA his retirement home.
Not long after retiring, Mr. Banks continued his education by attending Savannah Technical College (STC) where he earned diplomas in Computer Information Systems and Marketing Management. Simultaneously, he worked part-time as a Services Associate in the STC Library until 2019. The 21-year, faithful employee was Dubbed “Mr. Savanna Tech” as he was very popular-especially with the ladies and developed a close circle of friends who loved, supported and were loyal to him until his last days and beyond.
A War hero, Army veteran, father, grandfather, friend, LOVER of women, Budweiser (the tall can specifically) and the Atlanta Braves, Raymond R. Banks will forever be remembered and missed
by all who loved him.
Raymond is preceded in death by his Grandparents: Rev. Larney Banks Sr. and Magdalene Lou Jackson Banks; his parents: Larney Banks Jr. and Martha Reid; his stepbrother: Sylvester
Banks, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins. And survived by his daughter: Angela L. Miles, Sons: Aaron L. Miles and R. Jerrell Banks, and grandson: Thompson Jerelle (TJ) Love Banks along with a host of other family from all over.