- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 4, 2005

George Franklin Banks, a retired educator and aviator, died May 16 at Sunrise Assisted Living of Silver Spring after a long illness. He was 89.

He was born Feb. 27, 1916, in Memphis, Tenn., but his family soon moved to Jackson, Miss., where he began his education.

During the mid-1920s, he relocated with his family to Clarksdale, Miss. In 1931 he moved in with his uncle in the District, where he graduated from Dunbar High School. He received a bachelor’s degree from Miner Teachers College in 1940 and subsequently earned his master’s at New York University.

Initially an aspiring architect, Mr. Banks served for 30 years in the D.C. public schools system. He taught mathematics for many years at Shaw Junior High School and later was a counselor, before serving as an assistant principal at Francis Junior High School. He retired from the system in 1972.

Having become interested in aviation in the late-1950s, he earned his private pilot’s license.

After retiring from the D.C. school system, Mr. Banks remained active in aviation, despite a heart condition that prevented him from flying. He constructed a second home and also a hangar on the edge of an airstrip in Lusby, Md., where his one-man company, George’s Aircraft Services, conducted inspections of airplanes in the 1990s.

From 1985 to 1991, Mr. Banks was the maintenance manager at Potomac Airfield. He was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen’s Association, and he devoted many hours of service to the Youth in Aviation Career Academy.

His wife, Ximinia Allen, whom he married in 1955, died in 1991. He is survived by three nieces and a nephew.

Contributions can be sent to Youth in Aviation Tuskegee Airmen, PO Box 62404, Washington, D.C. 20029-2404.

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