Damon B. Bankston
April 18, 1927 – March 12, 2019
Damon B. Bankston passed away peacefully at his home in River Ridge, LA on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at the age of 91. He was born on April 18, 1927, in Dawson, TX, the youngest of eight sons of Claborn B. Bankston and Maud Mitchell Bankston. He is survived by his loving daughter, Janell Bankston Lepper (Michael); his grandsons, Damon M. Lepper (Janice) and Austen G. Lepper (Loren); his great- grandson Tyler M. Lepper; and several dear nieces and nephews. Damon was preceded in death by his cherished wife of 53 years, Evelyn Smith Bankston; his beloved daughter, Sharon Joyce Bankston (Lloyd G. Burkenstock, III); his parents; and his brothers, Horace, Clarence, Lowell, Cecil, Curtis, Alton, and Rayford. Damon graduated from C.E. Byrd High School in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1943 at the age of 16. He began LSU that year and attended until 1945 when he became 18 and could enlist in the U. S. Navy to proudly serve during WWII. After his service, he returned to LSU and graduated in May 1948 with a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Chemistry. Several months before graduation Damon was interviewed and offered a job with the Baroid Division of National Lead as a drilling mud engineer trainee. When Damon finished his training, he was the youngest engineer at Baroid. After ten years, he ended his career there as Sales Manager of the Gulf Coast Division to accept an employment offer from a small local offshore boat company named Tidewater Marine Service, Inc. that later grew into the largest offshore boat service company in the world. After his family and church, Tidewater became the love of his life. Every morning, he would awaken early and prepare coffee and tea for his wife and daughters, give them a weather report, and then go to the office to help make Tidewater the best company it could be. He thoroughly enjoyed his work, helping the company grow, making business trips all over the world, and developing lasting friendships that were very important to him. He was very proud but humble watching his namesake boat and its courageous crew rescue so many survivors of the tragic Deepwater Horizon accident. Damon retired after 30 years with Tidewater in 1988 as President and Chief Operating Officer as well as a member of the Board of Directors. He served on numerous Boards and was a member of various organizations during his career. Upon retiring from Tidewater, he founded and was president of two technology companies, SmartBoat Inc. and BanLen Technology Inc.. Damon always had jobs from a very early age, and he believed that working hard, having integrity, and a good name were very important. His work ethic, fairness, compassion, intelligence, and drive were unsurpassed. He was a longtime member of Munholland United Methodist Church, Metairie Country Club, and the Rex Organization. Relatives and friends are invited to attend the memorial celebration on Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 2PM at Munholland United Methodist Church, 1201 Metairie Road, Metairie, Louisiana 70005. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Children’s Ministry or Music Ministry at Munholland or a favorite charity in his memory. Interment was a private family service at Lake Lawn Park Mausoleum. To view and sign the family guest book please visit www.lakelawnmetairie.com.
Munholland United Methodist Church
1201 Metairie Road
Damon B. Bankston
March 22, 2019
Damon & I go back a long way (1966+. I was saddened to learn of his passing and
will always remember him as my friend and mentor.
At a time like this words cannot express what I feel about the big loss sustained by you all.
Senior Vice President, Operations (retired)