16 Feb Kent and Patricia Bankus – Headed West (1942 – 2016)
Kent and Patricia Bankus were killed in a head on collision February 16th at 10:15 PM on a two lane road in Alabama.
Kent (BSEE 1964 (MU), MBA 1974 (Auburn) entered the Air Force at Vance AFB, Oklahoma, where he graduated No. 1 in his pilot training class. After graduation he entered F-100 training at Luke AFB, Arizona. He was assigned to Bien Hoa Air Base in South Vietnam where he was shot down while flying combat and was rescued by an Army helicopter. He was selected to attend test pilot school in 1969. Upon completion, he was assigned to Eglin AFB, Florida. Throughout his career, he flew the F-4, A-7 and F-16 in multiple assignments. His last flying assignment was at Hill AFB, Utah where he was the director of operations. He then went on the Pentagon in 1986 where he was assigned as Special Assistant to Under Secretary of the Air Force for Research and Engineering. He retired in January 1987 with the rank of Colonel and then became a staffer for Senator Sam Nunn in 1988. He became Corporate Vice President for General Dynamics for a very successful career in the defense industry. His military decorations include the Silver Star with one oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit, and Purple Heart. A memorial service will be held at Crosspoint Methodist Church, Niceville, Florida, on Tuesday, February 23, 2016, at 3:30 p.m..