Walter G. Banks

October 28, 1927 ~ November 2, 2019 (age 92)


At his request, no service will be held for Walter Godfrey Banks, 92, of Coos Bay. Walter was born Oct. 28, 1927 in Eugene, Ore. to Walter Haigh and Era Blanche (Godfrey) Banks. He passed away surrounded by family Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019.

Walter attended Eugene High School and the University of Oregon, graduating in 1952 with a degree in psychology. He married Jean Hjelte Jan. 23, 1952. From 1953 to 1956, he worked for Eugene Public Schools as the speech pathologist for the Children’s Hospital School while completing his Master’s degree in speech pathology at the University of Oregon.

Following graduation, Walter worked for the Oregon State School for the Blind from 1956 to 1958 as their Industrial arts teacher, P.E. teacher and speech pathologist. In 1958 he and his family moved to Fresno, Calif. where he worked for the California Elks Major Project until 1966 and then the Fresno County Health Department until his return to Oregon in 1968. He worked for Coquille School District for one year and was recruited by Coos Bay School District where he worked until his retirement in 1986. He also worked in private practice providing nursing home services and home therapy from 1970 to 1984.

Walter was a member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, Oregon Speech and Hearing Association, the American Speech and Hearing Association, Obsidians, Coastal Toastmasters, Coos Bay Power Squadron and was on the Board of Directors for the local March of Dimes. He was also an Eagle Scout and, after college, taught swimming and canoeing at Boy Scout Camp during his summers.

He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Sheila (Sullivan) Banks of Coos Bay; son, Eric Banks and wife, Donna of Marstons Mills, Mass.; daughter, Karen (Banks) Gwartney and spouse, John of El Dorado Hills, Calif.; son, Deryl Banks and wife, Ola of Los Gatos, Calif.; son, Alan Banks and wife, Tomi of Gig Harbor, Washington; son, Scott Banks and wife, Kati of Coos Bay; son, Robert Banks and wife, Heidi of Coos Bay; nephew, Dave Banks of Sisters, Ore.; eight grandchildren, Graham Banks of San Diego, Calif., Dylan Banks of Omaha, Neb., Tanner Banks of San Diego, Calif., Kirsten Banks- Gwartney of Maui, HI, Brittany (Banks) Cox and Nickolas Cox of Wilmington, N.C., Kasey Banks of Coos Bay, Justin Banks of Corvallis and Kaylie Banks of Wilsonville.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Jean (Hjelte) Banks Jacobson; mother, Era Banks; father, Walter H. Banks; brother, John Banks; and niece, Kris (Banks) Winslow.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Walter’s name may be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, P. O. Box 4527, New York, New York 10163 or by calling the National M.S. Society at 1-800-344-4867.

Arrangements are under the care of Coos Bay Chapel, 541-267-3131. Friends and family are encouraged to sign the online guestbook at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Walter G. Banks, please visit our floral store.


Private Inurnment

Sunset Memorial Park
63060 Millington Frontage Road
Coos Bay, Oregon 97420

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