Cover photo for Wesley Bankhead's Obituary
Wesley Bankhead Profile Photo
1948 Wesley Bankhead 2023

Wesley Bankhead

July 1, 1948 — March 20, 2023

Kansas City

Wesley Bankhead was born on July 1, 1948, in Cotton Valley, Louisiana to Jessie B. Bankhead and Maggie Harris Bankhead.  After a lengthy illness, Wesley transitioned into the arms of his loving Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on March 20, 2023, at St. Luke’s Hospital on the Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri.  Wesley was preceded in death by his parents Jessie and Maggie Bankhead, his son Terrence Bertrand Gipson, two sisters, Alberta Bankhead, Lillie Mae Holliday-Hall, and a brother Jessie B. Bankhead, Jr.

Wesley grew up in the Hopewell Community, where he attended Carrie Martin Elementary School and in 1967, he graduated from Carrie Martin High School.  Wesley’s spiritual foundation was from the faith and belief in Jesus Christ that he learned from his parents and his participation and attendance at Hopewell Baptist Church in Cotton Valley, Louisiana.   There he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior at the age of 12.  After high school, Wesley worked for the Ammunition plant in Minden, Louisiana.  Wesley was drafted into the U. S. Army in 1968 and served his time while stationed in Panama City, Panama.  Wesley moved to Kansas City, Missouri at the end of his military service.

Wesley met the love of his life Melinda Ann Gibbs at Pleasant Green Baptist Church in Kansas City, Missouri.

They were married July 14, 1973.  Over the course of this forty-nine years of marriage, they did everything together.  When you saw one, you would see the other.  No matter what church ministry they served in, Wesley and Melinda supported each other.  Throughout their marriage, they always learned how to love, pray, and forgive each other, keeping the Lord Jesus in the center of their lives.  They traveled extensively from the east coast to the west coast visiting Hawaii, Texas, Washington, D.C., California, and many other places and states. 

Wesley grew up in a Christian family of eight sisters and four brothers.  Everyone had a chore to do, and they did it without complaining out loud.  They loved and enjoyed one another at play, church, and work.  Every two years there was the Bankhead family reunion which included the Hopewell Community.  They would come together to enjoy outdoor activities where God, food, fellowship, and fun were the requirements for the reunion.  The Bankhead Family Banquet was held on Saturday nights in a hotel.  Several times Wesley was the main speaker as well as the official family reunion photographer. Sunday was the culminating day of the reunion. The Bankhead’s would help to officiate the Sunday services. Wesley would always be ready to teach the Sunday School lesson, lead a hymn, sing in the choir, and help take the offering. At the end of the service, a song called “One More Time” was sang because God had allowed them to come together one more time. The song reminded the Bankhead’s to remember the family legacy on which they were founded as well as the old landmarks they had been taught from God’s word.

As a man of God, Wesley was actively involved in church activities at Pleasant Green Baptist Church in Kansas City, Missouri.  He was dutiful in growing in his knowledge of Jesus Christ.  He began learning about discipleship under Dr. Carolyn Ealy, who also opened his eyes to world missions.  Wesley was a church bus driver, a Junior Laymen instructor, a choir member, and a soloist.  He worked in many other church ministries.  Between 1987 and 1988, Wesley and Melinda united with Kansas City Baptist Temple / Graceway.  It was there that discipleship became the heart of Wesley’s life.  He attended many workshop sessions on how to disciple.  He loved discipling couples as well as individuals.  At Graceway he was a deacon and went on many mission trips to disciple churches.  Wesley worked in the Children’s ministry, Way of Life ministry, and the World Outreach ministry, just to name a few.  Always giving from his heart, Wesley was a loving, caring, helpful worker in God’s vineyard.  Wesley wanted each of his disciples to love discipleship as much as he did and to live it out in their lives by 1. Establishing his disciples in the word of God, 2. Establishing his disciples in the fellowship of other believers, 3. Establishing his disciples in the local church, and 4. Establishing his disciples in a ministry of the local church.

Wesley strived to love God with all his heart, soul and mind and strength and love his neighbor as himself.  He strived to follow the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19-20 (“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations” . . .)  It was important to Wes to teach others the value of God’s word and the value of living a Godly life.  Wesley Bankhead’s earthly journey had always been one of loving, caring and helping others. 

Wesley was employed at the Bendix Corporation for a short while.  He worked from 1971 - 2003 at the Colgate-Palmolive Kansas City Plant.  He began his employment there as a General Labor Union employee.  In 1974, he became a quality control inspector and was soon promoted to the packaging engineer position.  In this position, Wesley became the plant expert on packaging quality, package design and testing, and developed excellent relations with their packaging supplier partners.  Wesley was a caring and dedicated employee who’s quiet and gentle approach with colleagues and customers was best exemplified with his “can do spirit” and believing each employee could make a difference.  Wesley strived to be the best that he could be and believed that teamwork coupled with solid performance produced a successful work environment.

Wesley was the Kansas City Plant technical support link with other facilities.  They counted on and trusted him in the identification of problems and generating feasible solutions.  He was a “High Key” individual in the operation of the packaging division.

Wesley believed that in serving others, it was a way for doors to open to witness about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, which was a was very important part of Wesley’s mission in life.

When time permitted, Wesley enjoyed hunting deer, pheasant, and quail.  He also enjoyed riding his horse named Harlen Winter Magic.  Wesley’s ultimate desire and goal was to spend more time serving God and helping others.  Wesley fulfilled his vision on March 20, 2023.  Absent from the body, Wesley is now present with the Lord Jesus Christ.  To God be the glory!

Those left to celebrate Wesley’s homegoing are his spouse Melinda Bankhead, grandson Terrence Luvanté Grisby, brother Edward Bankhead (Sheila); sister Bessie Whitaker; sister Leola Thompson (Phillip);  sister Margarette Chatman;  sister Jossie Moore (Orlando);  sister Sarah B. Martin; brother Herman Bankhead (Pamela); sister Judy B. Tatum (Elston) and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Funeral services will be Saturday, April 1, 2023 at Graceway Church, 5460 Blue Ridge Cutoff, Raytown, MO 64133. A visitation will be from 12:00 – 1:00 PM prior to the service at the church. Burial will be in Forest Hill Cemetery in Kansas City, Missouri.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Wesley Bankhead, please visit our flower store.

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Saturday, April 1, 2023

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Saturday, April 1, 2023

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