Athlete, builder, loving father and grandfather
Cyril Banks, known by many as Cy, died peacefully in his Claremont home on June 29, 2014 after a long illness. He was 79.
He was born on July 20, 1934 in Walsall, England to Ernie and Annie Banks and immigrated to Georgetown, Connecticut with his family in 1950. He was working as a carpenter and playing soccer for a German team when he met his wife of 57 years, Thelma (nee Fiddler), also from England.
They were married in Stamford, Connecticut on April 6, 1957 and a few months later he was drafted into the US Army, serving in the 4th Armored Division. He was sent to Germany, followed later by his wife and infant son Philip where, for 13 months, he played soccer for the US Army team.
After Mr. Banks was discharged from the Army, the family returned to Connecticut where they lived while Cyril played semi-pro soccer in New York and where, in 1961, their daughter Lynn was born. In 1963, they moved across the country to Claremont and he began his career as a southern California construction superintendent, supervising the building of schools, high-rises, hotels, churches and banks with Doug Campbell Co., Summit Builders, CV Holder, Oltman and Jones Brothers, to name a few.
After his retirement in 1995, Mr. Banks traveled extensively with his wife and often their daughter Lynn, to places like Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Alaska, Canada, Panama and Europe, including their homeland, England. He was a soccer referee for all ages for many years. He enjoyed playing tennis and golf, cheering for his grandkids as they played their various sports and sitting in his favorite chair listening to music.
Cyril is survived by his beloved wife Thelma, by his devoted son Philip and daughter-in-law Lynn (Hortick) and by his grandchildren, Laura and Scott, all from Claremont, as well as by his loving daughter Lynn of Long Beach. He also leaves his sister-in-law Ann (Gordon) Banks of Idyllwild, brother-in-law Steve (Gaynor) Sharpe of South Hampton, England and 12 nieces and nephews.
He is predeceased by his sister Margery, by his parents, Ernie and Annie, by his sister Mrs. Ivy (John) Wilkes and by his brother Gordon. A private graveside service was held at Oak Park Cemetery, where Cyril is now interred.