BELFAST – Willis A. Banks Jr. passed away peacefully March 22, 2012, surrounded by family, at his residence. Willis was born Nov. 6, 1926, at home in North Searsmont.
He attended the one-room schoolhouse in North Searsmont until high school. After graduation from Lincoln Academy, Wiscasset, Willis joined the U.S. Army Air Force and was part of the occupation force in post World War II Germany. When he returned home, he worked at Consumer’s Fuel, Belfast, for 20 years. In the early 1970s Willis started his own heating installation and repair business, which he ran for 25 years. During this time he enjoyed boating on Penobscot Bay and traveling by RV with his family and friends. Upon retirement he was advised to get more exercise, which he did by walking the roads of Waldo County and bringing home recyclables. Willis also worked part time at Merrill’s Car Wash, Belfast, during his retirement.
He was an active lifetime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars, where he held the positions of post commander and National Aide de Camp.
Willis was predeceased by his first wife, Arlene Duncan; by his third wife, Jone Thompson Brown Banks; two sisters, Shirley and Phyllis; and two stepchildren, Donald and Eddie. Survivors include his daughter, Brenda W. Banks-Tirone of Massachusetts; stepchildren, Rhonda and Gloria Brown of Belfast and Judy Haley of Connecticut; two grandchildren, Cara Reed and Paul Banks-Tirone of New York; 10 stepgrandchildren, 11 great-stepgrandchildren and one great-great-great-stepgrandchild.
Friends may call 6-8 p.m. Sunday, March 25, at Riposta Funeral Home, 182 Waldo Ave., Belfast, where a funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Monday, March 26, with the Rev. Ken Davenport officiating. Interment will be at Maine Veterans Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the hospice organization of your choice. Online condolences may be offered to the family at