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Obituary for Gene Banks
Gene M. Banks Mapleton, Iowa - Eugene M. "Gene" Banks, 78, of Mapleton, Iowa died Tuesday, December 23, 2014 at St. Mary's Campus/Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota. The funeral services will be Saturday, December 27 at 2:00 p.m. at the Castana Community Church in Castana, Iowa with Pastor Karen Handke and Pastor Linda Boggs officiating. Burial will be in Mt. Hope Cemetery at Mapleton with military graveside honors provided by the American Legion Post #496 of Mapleton. Visitation will be Friday, December 26 from 4:00-8:00 p.m. with a prayer service at 7:00 p.m. at the Armstrong Funeral Home in Mapleton. The family is receiving condolences online at www.armstrongfuneral.com. Eugene Marshall Banks was born at home February 4, 1936, in rural Oto, Iowa during a hazardous snow storm. He was the son of Ed and Dorothy (Marshall) Banks. Before Gene started school, the family moved to rural Mapleton, Iowa on what became the family farm. He graduated from Mapleton High School with the class of 1955. On October 15, 1958, Gene entered the United States Army. He was stationed primarily in Hawaii where because of his stature, was chosen to serve in the Color Guard. This led to a picture of Gene in formation near President Eisenhower. He was honorably discharged September 16, 1960. On June 23, 1962, Gene was united in marriage to Elaine Olson at the Castana Community Church. The couple first made their home west of Mapleton near Gene's parent's farm. He worked for a time as a mechanic. He then started farming with his father, moved onto the family farm, and finally purchased it in 1972. Eleven years ago, Gene and Elaine built a new home near by. He retired from farming in 2000. For nine years, Gene worked for the Woodbury County Parks Department with his primary responsibility being the care of Fowler and Southwood Parks, a job he thoroughly enjoyed. His grandkids still refer to those parks as "Grandpa's Parks". Gene was an active volunteer in his community and county, having served on the Castana Community Church Board, where he was a long time member. He also served on the ASC Township Committee, the Monona County Fair Board, and was a Maple Township Trustee. Gene was recognized as the first Monona County Tree Farm and received the Marc Cox Soil Conservation Award, demonstrating his dedication to to the care of the land, a tradition handed down by his father. He was a member of the American Legion Loren Hollister Post #496 of Mapleton and a regular at the morning coffee clan meeting at the Beef N Brew. Over the last 15 months, Gene and Elaine have been helping out at the Mapleton Greenhouse which their granddaughter, Ally Lloyd, now owns. With family as his priority, Gene definitely embraced his role as a Grandpa with a special love for all his grandchildren. Those family members left to treasure their memories of Gene include Elaine, his wife of 52 years; two daughters and their husbands, Denise and Kevin Kimbrough of Oak Grove, Missouri and Darla and Travis Lloyd, living on the family farm near Mapleton; five grandchildren, Ally Jo , Ethan, and Alexa Lloyd all of Mapleton and Kolson and Kiaya Kimbrough at home in Oak Grove, Missouri; one brother and his wife, Robert "Bob" and Bonnie Banks of Mapleton; one sister, Detta Stark of Anchorage, Alaska; three sisters-in-law, Loretta (Doug) Collison, Marlene (Lonnie) Campbell all of Onawa, Iowa, and Deb Clark (Larry Swank)of Kellerton, Iowa; one brother-in-law, Dwight Olson of Whiting, Iowa; six nieces; eight nephews; several great nieces and nephews; and many good friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Roberta Anderson and her husband Andy; and one niece, Roxanne Campbell.