Jack Banks, aftermarket veteran and former vice-president with the Service Parts Division of Dana Canada, passed away April 6 after a long battle with cancer.
He was 75.
Growing up in a small village near Beaver Valley, Ontario, he was very proud of his ties to the Flesherton community. He left Flesherton when he was 18 to pursue a baseball career in Oakville, Ont.
Banks, is described as one of the most talented, hard throwing pitchers of the time and was scouted by the farm teams for the Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees and the St. Louis Cardinals.
The opportunity to stay in Canada and work with Ford Motor Company, based in Oakville, along with his small town roots, made him forego a move to the U.S. His baseball career culminated in winning the Ontario Senior A Major championship in 1956. While playing ball, he mentored and coached young players and he also began his automotive career.
Banks began his automotive career in 1953 as a mail boy at Ford, progressing very quickly to the position of buyer. In 1962, he left Oakville for Cambridge to join Kralinator Filters in sales. Kralinator was sold to Sheller Globe Corporation and Jack was appointed vice president and general sales manager of Sheller Globe Canada. In 1999, he retired as vice president-sales & marketing, Service Parts Division, Dana Canada.
During his 46 years in the automotive industry, he was known for generously sharing his experiences and knowledge and belonging to numerous associations. He also served on the United Way of Cambridge Automotive Association Golf Tournament committee for more than 15 years.
Over his 75 years, he took pride in his Scottish heritage and had keen interest in athletics, which included hockey, baseball, curling and golf. He was a member of the Galt Country Club for over 48 years. In addition, he loved music and was a voracious reader amassing a wide variety of knowledge on many, varied subjects.
Above all, he was a devoted and loving family man; his soul mate and wife of over 45 years, Frania (Hejno) and their two children Lara Lynn, Cambridge (Jim McGuin) and Dorian Jay, Vancouver.
Jack was predeceased by his parents, Jean (Haxton) and George Banks, as well as his six brothers and one sister and Frania’s parents, Julia and Ignacy Hejno of Burlington.
A private family funeral has been arranged, but a “Celebration of Jack’s Life” will be held at the Galt Country Club (beside Cambridge Memorial Hospital, Cambridge, ON) at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 11, 2010. For those who wish to honour Jack Banks’ memory, a “Jack S. Banks Award of Excellence” fund has been established at Grey Highlands Secondary School, Box 460, Flesherton, ON NOC 1E0. Donation envelopes will also be available at the Galt Country Club.
Funeral Arrangements have been entrusted to Henry Walser Funeral Home, 507 Frederick Street, Kitchener, Ont.