Velma Virginia West Bankston

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Funeral services for Velma Virginia West Bankston will beconducted at 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 5, 2007, at HermitageFuneral Home, 535 Shute Lane, Old Hickory, Tenn. The Rev. JohnKurtz, of Mt. Juliet, Tenn., and the Rev. Charles West, ofBreckenridge, Texas, will officiate.

Visitation with the family will be held on Wednesday from 4until 8 p.m. and on Thursday for one hour prior to the service atthe funeral home.

Mrs. Bankston, 81, of Hermitage, Tenn., succumbed to lung cancerand was welcomed home by the Lord on April 2, 2007.

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She was born in Pleasant Hill and was a member of Pleasant HillBaptist Church in Copiah County. Mrs. Bankston, the Rev. JohnKurtz, and a few others were the founding members of Tulip GroveBaptist Church in Old Hickory, meeting in the cafeteria of DupontSenior High School on Tyler Drive before building and moving to thecurrent church location on Shute Lane.

Mrs. Bankston was a devoted and loving wife, mother andgrandmother. She lived her life as a Christian, walking in thefootsteps of the Lord.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Ernest Jasper West andMary Bailess West; her brothers, Carden Lychester West, ClydeCorrell West and Johnny Claude West; her sister, Mary ErnestineWest Gilliam, all of Mississippi; and her beloved friend, JoyceWilliams Johnson, of Hermitage.

She is survived by her husband of 52 years, James Ray BankstonSr.; daughter, Gloria Bankston Vaughan and husband Gary; her son,James Ray Bankston Jr. and wife Raeann; her grandsons, Erik ThomasVaughan and Brandon Ray Bankston, all of Nashville, Tenn.; her twinbrother, Delma Marion West and wife Lellen, of Hazlehurst; hersister, Burnita Hazel West Smith Thetford and husband Wendell, ofBrookhaven; and her seven wonderful nieces and nephews, as well asnumerous cousins and friends.

Pallbearers are Gerry Dye, Larry Vaughan, John Loviza, DanFoster, Richard Bradley and Ron Johnson.

Honorary pallbearers are Dr. Michael Mertens and staff, Dr.Douglas Waldo and staff, Marilee Dye, Rosemary Sharpe, thewonderful staff of Willowbrook Hospice, Bob Nance, Jack Gilbert,Rob Donahue, Charles Reeves, Ted Bowden, Cal Barstow, Joe Barstow,John Terrell and Larry Johnson.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the TennesseeSchool for the Blind, The American Cancer Society, or KatrinaRelief Fund of your choice.