Larry Banks, 78, dies

Columbus, OH — Larry E. Banks, age 78, a resident of Cicero, Ill., for over 40 years, passed away Jan. 7, surrounded by his loving family.

He was born on June 25, 1943, in Redwing, Minn., to his loving late parents, Eldridge and Doris Banks (née Rapp), the first-born son of 13 children. He grew up on a dairy farm in Cannon Falls, Minn., graduating from Cannon Falls High School in 1961. Following high school, Larry graduated from the California Lutheran Bible School (1961-63). He received degrees from the University of Minnesota (1963-65), where he served as the president of the Student Council, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Seattle Pacific University (1967). He performed his postgraduate work at Pepperdine University. A high school teacher and public servant, Banks worked full-time as a teacher at South Torrence High School in California and as a substitute teacher for various school districts in Illinois.

Banks worked in his community as the executive director of the Clyde Park District and as a business license inspector for the Town of Cicero. Larry served the past 11 years on the Town of Cicero Board of Trustees. He was always very proud to be an elected official and serve the residents of Cicero. He was especially dedicated to serving the disabled residents in the town and through the Park District, as he had a passion for improving the lives of the special needs residents.

Banks somehow always found time and absolutely loved coaching his children and their friends during their youth. He served as manager of the Cicero American Legion baseball team, and coached Little League South Cicero baseball and Our Lady of Charity basketball for many years. An avid sports fan, he would often be seen cheering for his Minnesota Vikings and Twins and reveled in the friendly rivalries with his Chicago sports-loving friends and family.

Banks’ true passion in life after his faith and family, was his horses. Banks worked with horses his entire life and began training, driving, breeding and owning racehorses in the 1970s. He continued racing horses for the next 50 years and cherished all the many friendships and memories made along the way. Known around the Chicago racing circuit as “The Green Man”, Banks will forever be linked with his favorite horse, Dr E K Buckley.

Banks was the beloved husband of Susan Banks (née Dodaro), loving father of June (Lew) Hensley, Larry (Samantha) Banks, Matthew (Sarah) Banks, Christopher (Stephanie Perri) Banks and Cara (Adam) Hauser; proud grandfather of Luke and Liv Hensley; Joseph, Mia, Amy, Benjamin, Anna, Siena, Oliver, Christopher, Charles and Westin Banks; and Hannah, Caleb and Bennett Hauser.

Other survivors include his sister, Mary Banitt; brothers, DuWayne, Craig and Kevin Banks; sisters, Karen (Troy) Millar and Shayla (Brian) Anfinson; sister-in-law, Marilyn Banks; mother-in-law, Joan Dodaro; special friends, Joseph Schultz and Dennis Raleigh; as well as many other loved family members and friends.

Larry was preceded in death by his parents, Eldridge and Doris Banks; father-in-law, Salvatore Dodaro; and siblings Kerry, Timothy, Sylvia, Judith, Kay and Ronald.

Visitation was held Jan. 18 at Knollcrest Funeral Home, 1500 South Meyers Road, Lombard, IL 60148; funeral and interment were private. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Larry’s name can be made to any charity or cause.

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