Nathaniel H. “Nate” Banks Jr., 69, passed away on Tuesday, April 1, 2014. He was the son of the late Nathaniel H. Banks Sr. and Louise Jane (Cato) Payton. He is survived by his wife of 23 years, Linda K. Banks; children, Nathaniel Banks III, Nicole Ford, MaiLin Johnson, and Chandra Reichert; nine grandchildren; and siblings, Herbert Banks, Beverly Shelton, Jeffrey Wilson, Mark Payton and Andrea Payton. A Memorial Celebration was Saturday, April 5, 2014, at the F.W. Urban League, 2135 S. Hanna St. Memorial contributions to the family may be mailed to the funeral home c/o Chandra Reichert. Arrangements by Advantage Funeral & Cremation Services, 2403 East Wallen Road, Fort Wayne. To leave condolences, please visit advantagefunerals.com.
Pastor Franklin Lee Davis was born on Feb. 5, 1925 to Tommie Sr. and Gertrude Elizabeth “Goldsberry” in Little Rock, Arkansas. He departed this life on Thursday, April 3, 2014 at Woodview Healthcare. He was known for his compassionate ways and concern for others. Pastor Davis confessed Christ at an early age in Arkansas. He later moved to Fort Wayne in 1945 where he joined Friendship Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor P.H. Love. He later joined in union with Everloise Davis along with a daughter Alice “Vann” Bates on Sept. 2, 1961, which lasted 50 years. From this union came Annie “Davis” Robinson. Pastor Davis, along with his wife, owned and operated two restaurants in the city at various times. He worked for the Fort Wayne Street Department for 35 years and as a supervisor for 12 years. On Jan. 11, 1970 he completed his calling by obtaining his license to preach at the Greater Mount Eria Baptist Church under the leadership of the Rev. R.A. Cooper Jr. On June 2, 1971 he became ordained as a minister. At this time, he was called to be the pastor of First National Baptist Church. Along with the help of his wife he organized First National Missionary Baptist Church, where he served as pastor until the time of his death. Pastor Davis was a sergeant in the U.S. Air Force and a faithful participant in the Institutional Baptist District Association. He loved fishing, antique model cars, Cadillac cars, and GOOD CHURCH MUSIC. Some of his favorite hymns included “Lord I stretch my hands to thee” and “Soon I will be done with the troubles of this world.” His favorite pastime was repairing old TVs and radios, when he wasn’t fishing with his wife and friends. He was preceded in death by his wife, Everloise Davis, a step-daughter, Alice Bates, a granddaughter, Benita Bates, his parents, Tommie Sr. and Gertrude Elizabeth Davis, a sister, Jean Stevenson, two brothers, Alvin and Oliver Davis, a mother-in-law, Addie Swan, a father-in-law, Dan Thomas, and a son-in-law, Milton Bates. He leaves to cherish his memory, his daughter Annie (the Rev. Robert) Robinson of Fort Wayne; a son, James (Melisa) Waikel of Avon, Ind., a sister Gertie Ann Ware of Indianapolis; three brothers, Charles Lee (Debra) Davis of Cecil, Ohio, Tommie Jr. Davis of Fort Wayne, and John (Eileen) Willis of Arizona; longtime friend, Tereather Sims; seven grandchildren, Lydia Bates, Deanna Bates, Elise Bates, Felicia Brazil, LaShonda Davis, Alicia Davis, and Tazcia Eldridge; seventeen great-grandchildren, thirty-two great-great grandchildren, and a host of other family and friends. Service was Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at First National Baptist Church 1827 Seddlemeyer with the Rev. Robert Robinson as the eulogist and burial next to wife Everloise in Highland Park Cemetery. Arrangements were by Ellis Funeral Home.
Darrell King, 45, passed away on Saturday, April 5, 2014. Surviving are his wife, Ramona; mother, Margaret (Henry) Washington; two daughters, one son; one sister; three brothers; three grandchildren; and a host of other relatives and friends. Service was Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Ellis Funeral Home, 1021 E. Lewis St., with burial in Greenlawn Memorial Park. Arrangements were by Ellis Funeral Home.
Ella Lapsley Thomas was born Jan. 11, 1919 in Uniontown, Ala. to the late John and Lucy (Williams) Lapsley. Ella was the sixth child of 12 to this union raised with six of her fathers’ sisters’ children. On Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at the age of 95, she exchanged this life for a pair of wings and was welcomed into the loving arms of our Lord and Savior for eternal rest. Ella attended school in Uniontown. In search for more and better opportunities in life, she moved to Fort Wayne, Ind., in the late 1930s. Ella gained employment and retired from International Harvester (Navistar) after 34 years of service in 1973. She was instrumental in providing a gateway for many family members and friends to have and achieve as she had. She opened her home to many, as they transitioned from the South. She accepted Christ at an early age and was baptized in Uniontown. Having a strong faith in God she later moved her membership to Pilgrim Baptist Church under the leadership of the late Rev. John Dixie Jr. She served faithfully on the Red Rose Floral Club, Nurses Guild and in the Senior Choir until her health began to fail her. Ella was also a member of the Women’s Auxiliary of the VFW Post #148. Ella enjoyed traveling across the United States, cooking, shopping, going to the Baptist Conventions and gardening. She was known for growing beautiful vegetables and flowers, especially the red geraniums, this she did until two years ago. Her love of gardening lead her in the earlier years to prepare and sell dinners to her co-workers, this fundraiser helped aid with the church’s building fund in the 1950s. She was very dedicated to her family and grandkids, nobody was a stranger to her and she always greeted you with chuckle and a wide beautiful smile. Her legacy will live on through her two daughters, Lenore Dixie (Mickey) and Johnnie M. King; her son, Dudley (Laverne) Thomas; two sisters, Bessie Lapsley and Luevina (Wiley) Lymon; brother, J.C. (Maude) Lapsley; her four grandchildren, Toni (David) Smith, Mark (Gwen) King, Joey King and Henry (Tonya) King; 11 great-grandchildren, Chris and Whitney Smith, Johana Chapman, Tristian, Jasmin, Amber, J’Lynn, Joshua, Gabriel, Daniel and Grace King; 12 great-great-grandchildren; very close friends, Ollie Hughes, Gladys Hagler, Verna Allen and Martha Burl; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Dudley R. Thomas Sr., a grandson, Jason King, brothers, Cremo, Moses, Offie, John, Ocie and Isaiah Lapsley and sisters, Margaret Easley, Mary Haywood and Estella Johnson. Service was Tuesday, April 8, 2014, at Pilgrim Baptist Church, 1331 Gay St., with burial in Lindenwood Cemetery. Arrangements were by Ellis Funeral Home.