Leon was born Jan. 4, 1937 in Kennett, Mo., the son of Leo and Myrtle Bankston. He graduated from Arkansas State University with a BSE and completed his graduate work in Psychology at Southeast Missouri State University.
Leon enlisted in the United States Navy on October 20, 1954 and was assigned to the USS Cimarron AO22 fleet tanker. After leaving the Navy, Leon joined the Army Reserve and retired as MSGT after 25 years. He received the Army Commendation Medal and Meritorious Award.
He married Nell Marie Braswell in Jonesboro, Ark., on March 8, 1960. They had three children, Terry (Marc) McGill, Dana (Doug) Wilson of Fairfield and Jason (Andrea) Bankston of Evansville, Ind., and six grandchildren.
Leon was an avid traveler having visited many countries. He also enjoyed kayaking, sailing, canoeing, scuba diving and spending time at his winter home in Marathon, Fla.
He was a member of the VFW, American Legion, Elks Lodge and Kiwanis.
Preceding him in death were his parents and wife. Survivors include his children; brothers, Danny Bankston, of Little Rock, Ark., Larry Bankston, of St. Louis, Mo., and sister Garnetta Boles, of Hamilton, Ohio.
Funeral Services will be held at Johnson & Vaughn Funeral Home, Fairfield, Ill., June 19th and 20th. Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, June 19, and 11 a.m. to noon, Saturday, June 20. Funeral services will be held at noon, Saturday, June 20. Graveside military services will follow. Rev Doug Rorex will officiate.
Memorials may be made to the Huntington's Disease Society or the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation.