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Arvil Wade Bankston

Sunday, May 30, 2021
Arvil Wade Bankston

Arvil Wade Bankston, 83, passed away peacefully on May 15, 2021, at home surrounded by family in Missouri City, Texas.

A fifth-generation native Texan and 10th-generation descendant of Swedish colonial settlers, A.W. was born on March 2, 1938, in Ennis, Texas, to Loma Lee and Margaret Bankston. He was named after his paternal grandfather, Arvil Wade “Doc” Bankston (1859-1901) but liked to be called A.W. or Wade. He followed in his dad’s footsteps by going to work for the Texas & New Orleans Railroad in 1956, after graduating from Ennis High School, where he was student body president. His great grandfather, Micajah W. Bankston, fought in the 9th Regiment of the Texas Calvary. His 2nd great-grandparents, James and Lavisa Bankston, were early settlers to the Republic of Texas, moving from Arkansas to Red River County in 1837.

A.W.’s earliest known ancestor, Anders Bengtsson a/k/a Andrew Bankson, immigrated to the New World in 1656 from western Sweden, near Gothenburg. He lived in the former Swedish colony of New Sweden and married Gertrude Rambo, the eldest daughter of Peter Gunnarson Rambo. Andrew Bankson was elected to the inaugural Pennsylvania Assembly and witnessed the signing of William Penn’s Frame of Government.

On June 5, 1959, A.W. married Joyce Ann Martin in Waxahachie, Texas. They were married 56 years, raising two sons and parting only upon her death in 2015. A.W. was Joyce’s primary caregiver when she became bedridden and he selflessly took care of her for over 10 years. Wade was a Master Mason with Masonic Lodge #90 in Waxahachie for over 50 years. His work ethic was second to none. He worked 44 years for the same company, although it changed on him twice, first to the Southern Pacific and then the Union Pacific Railroads. After “retirement,” he continued working part-time delivering vehicles for car dealers, as working in the car business is something of a family trade. A.W.’s cousins W.O. Bankston and Red Bankston were well-known automobile dealers in the Metroplex. His son Michael has over 30 years’ experience in the car business, and his son Mark is a lawyer whose practice centers on representing franchised dealerships.

A devout Christian, A.W. stayed active in his church, serving as a deacon at Sugar Land Baptist Church. He was well-suited for such a position as he loved people and never met a stranger. Wade had the gift of easy conversation and a quick smile. When asked what he loved most about working for the railroad for so long, his answer was simple: “The people I got to work with,” he said. In addition, A.W. enjoyed photography and loved baseball. He was always seen wearing either an Astros or Rangers ballcap.

A.W. was preceded in death by his wife, Joyce Ann Martin Bankston; father, Loma Lee Bankston; mother, Margaret Louise Plagens Bankston; sister, Helen Louise Bankston Borders; father-in-law, Shirley Neal Martin; mother-in-law, Zula Maye Martin; brothers-in-law: Neal Eugene Martin, William Dean “Bill” Davis and Davey Borders; sister-in-law, Florence Kimmick Martin; uncle, Malcolm Wade Bankston; aunt, Ada Bankston Riddle and cousins, Garland Hall Bankston, W.O. Bankston and James Milton Bankston.

He is survived by his sons: Michael Wade Bankston and Mark Allan Bankston; daughters-in-law, Stephanie Allemore Bankston and Zee Bankston; grandchildren: Kelsey, Austin and Vince; sister-in-law, Janice Davis; brother-in-law, Norman Wayne Martin and several nieces and nephews. A graveside service was held at Lakeview Memorial Park Cemetery in Waxahachie, Texas, on Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 1 p.m.