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February 26, 2022


James Harold Bankston

April 19, 1946 - February 23, 2022

James Harold Bankston, age 75 and a lifelong resident of Franklinton, passed away at his home on Wednesday, February 23, 2022 alongside his family that adored him. To know him was to know his unwavering love for Jesus Christ, his family, and everyone he met. He was married to his high school sweetheart, Pauline Crain, for 54 years. They both graduated from Franklinton High School and then from Southeastern Louisiana University with degrees in Education. They shared a wonderful life together educating the students of Washington Parish. James taught over 40 years, including early years as a Franklinton Junior High Math teacher and football/basketball coach and later years as a Special Education teacher at FHS. Many of his students affectionately remember him as "Chicken Box" or "Cornbread", as he never wanted to see the cornbread from the school cafeteria wasted and was always up for some good Danny's Fried Chicken. He continued to substitute in the classroom after retirement to fulfill his passion to help and mentor to not only students but also faculty and staff as well. Prior to his years as a substitute teacher, James worked at Crain Funeral Home for 8 years serving and praying with bereaving families--a job that he cherished dearly.

One of his hobbies that he and Pauline enjoyed together was following the grandkids around in their many sporting events. James was an avid sports fan and took extreme pride in his grandkids' accomplishments. You could even catch him throwing his hat down to the ground a time or two in disapproval of a baseball call that he thought should have been a strike when his grandsons were pitching.

James was a faithful member of Stoney Point Missionary Baptist church and has a testimony of accepting Jesus Christ as his personal savior at age 14. James considered it a great honor to be the Adult Sunday School teacher, congregational song leader, and humble servant of his church family. If he was not in attendance at Sunday or Wednesday services, the congregation knew to check on him, because only a dire emergency would keep him out of the Lord's house. In addition to his home church, he also supported and attended all of the local Landmark Faith revivals that he could.

James was a kind and loving father to his 3 children and grandchildren, and a main focus of their upbringing was family devotion time every evening. Daily Bible reading and prayer were important routines he wanted to instill in his family, and he made sure that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was presented above all else. To this day, many friends of his children testify of the treasured Bible devotions they remember being a part of while spending the night at the Bankstons as kids and the personal and sincere prayers he prayed for them and their families.

As the family grew and visits became sporadic and impromptu, "Papaw" still never let anyone leave his house without leading in prayer. "Pray us out" is the sweet expression his grandson, Max, called this family tradition that will live on to honor Papaw's Christian legacy.

James 5:16 “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

He is lovingly survived by: Wife -- Pauline Bankston; Three children and Spouses: Daughter: Tracey Schilling (Darren), Franklinton; Son: Jay Bankston (Kelly), Bella Vista, Arkansas; Daughter: Ashley Wascom (Jerod), Franklinton; Grandchildren: Ragen McCollum (Austin), Spencer Watson, Parker Watson (fiance', Ali Cochran), Sydney Watson (fiance', Peyton Richardson), Seth Schilling, Max Schilling, Camille Bankston, Will Bankston, Isaac Wascom, Micah Wascom, Claire Wascom; Great-Granddaughter: Eliza James McCollum; Sister: Eugenia "Jean" Cox; Sister-in-law and Brother in law: Paulette Lantz (Jack); Sister-in-law: Linda Crain; Niece: Shanda and (Dennis) Glover; And numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews

He was preceded in death by an infant daughter, parents Artis Bankston and Camille "Pete" Stafford Bankston, brother-in-law Jesse Harold Cox, father in law and mother in law William and Willie Crain and brother-in-law Robert Wesley Crain.

Visitation will be at Crain Funeral Home Saturday February 26th from 5:00 pm until 9:00 pm. Visitation will continue Sunday at Stoney Point Missionary Baptist Church (36366 Hwy. 450, Franklinton, LA) from 12:00 pm until 2:00 pm. A funeral service will be held in the church at 2:00 pm Sunday with Eld. Everett Broome and Eld. Brent King officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorial donations to the Stoney Point Baptist Church Building Fund at the address above.

Pallbearers: Rod Graham, Bobby Varnado, Justin Graham, Trey Bond, Todd Edwards, Butch Robertson

Honorary Pallbearers: Darren Schilling, Jerod Wascom, Alvin Graham, Danny Bond, Billy Bond, Kinell Cox, Wayne Cox, Buford McDaniel, Derwood Smith, Earl Bullock, Berman Graham, Ricky Russell

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