It is with great sadness that the family of 1st Sergeant, USMC, Retired Anthony Howard Bankston announces his passing. Tony, as those dearest to him knew him, was a resident of the Sunflower Community. He was born in Laurel, MS on September 1, 1956, and was called home to his Lord and Savior on July 13, 2021, at Memorial Hospital of Gulfport. Tony is preceded in death by his parents, June and Jack Bankston; his parents-in-law, Sarah and Pascal Gill and brother-in-law, Jesse Gill. Tony is survived by his wife and soulmate of 39 years, April Delite Gill Bankston; son and daughter-in-law, Dan and Heather Bankston; daughter and son-in-law, Melissa and Jeremy Legnon; his grandchildren, which were his pride and joy, Maddie, Bubba and Nick Bankston, Jayden, Grayson, Shelby Ann and Colton Legnon; brothers and sisters-in-law; Dennis Bankston, Perry and Susan Bankston and Jeff and Marie Bankston; sisters and brothers-in-law, Mona and John Blackburn, Jonie Gill, Pebbel and Russell Clark, Lala Renee “Tiny” Hale, Sandy Falgout, Albert and Lois Ann Necaise, Pascal B. Gill, Roy and Dana Gill, Morgan and Michelle Gill and Mike “Snapper” and Amy Barnes; along with numerous nieces, nephews, extended family, friends from all walks of life and his beloved canine companion, Cricket. We all knew Tony as a man in the service of his fellow man. He proudly served his country for 21 years. He received the Sharp Shooter Rifle Marksmanship Badge, Expert Pistol Marksmanship Badge and the Humanitarian Service Medal. He had an unshakeable conviction and earned the respect of everyone who encountered him. Tony’s experience in the Marines played an important role in his life. It taught him discipline, teamwork and investing in a cause larger than himself. However, Tony’s greatest accomplishment wasn’t being a Marine, it was being a husband to April, a father to his children and a Grandpa to his grandkids. While Tony tried to be gruff, he would be the first to give you his last dollar. He was just that way; he always wanted to find the best in people. He was an avid fisherman and hunter and enjoyed collecting coins and arrowheads. Tony loved to watch old westerns and the television show M*A*S*H. He especially liked to watch the weather radar! One of his most memorable characteristics was keeping up with the weather and helping everyone else keep up with it also! While Tony’s family grieves his absence, they take comfort knowing that he has reported to heaven’s gate and is truly at rest. Semper Fi, Tony, Semper Fi. The family invites everyone to the visitation to be held from 6 pm to 9 pm on Thursday, July 15th at Tuxachanie Baptist Church where Tony was a member. On Friday, July 16th a visitation at Tuxachanie Baptist Church will take place at 10 am with funeral ceremony at 11 am with Bro. Gene Daniels officiating and full military honors. A burial will take place at a private ceremony at a later date. Trinity Funeral Services is honored to assist Tony’s family as they go through this valley and asks that you keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
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