John Carlton Banker, Jr., age 81, passed away peacefully in Hospice on June 12, 2013. Mr. Banker, was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, but spent most of his boyhood in Portsmouth, Virginia. He lived in the Orlando area for 43 years. He was a veteran of both the Korea and Vietnam wars, retiring in 1969 with over 20 years of military service. He served in both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force. He was a participant in the U. S. Nuclear Testing in Nevada, conducted in the 1950's. Later, as a member of the Air Force, Mr. Banker was involved in global photo-mapping. This took him to Iceland, Greenland, Philippines and Borneo. Later he became an Instructor/Technical Writer. During the 1960's, Mr. Banker was a "space pioneer" working with the early U.S. spy satellite ventures at Vandenberg AFB, California. He was instrumental in developing training programs for initial military space tracking systems. Later, he would become a Director of Computer Training. For this, he was awarded the U.S. Air Force Master Instructor Badge and twice, the AF Commendation Medal. His post-service employment included Harris Corporation of Palm Bay, Florida, Lockheed/Martin, Orlando and Litton Laser Systems. Later, using his computer skills, he worked in the fast-growing computer software industry as a Software Technical Writer for The Kirchman Corporation of Altamonte Springs, Florida Infomanagement Systems (FIS) of Orlando. He was also employed by Credit Card Software (CCS) of Maitland, where he became a Vice President. He was a published poet and received The Editor's Choice Award for outstanding achievement in Poetry. Mr. Banker has published a book of poetry, entitled "Reflections." He has also completed a manuscript, "My Generation" which is waiting to be published. Among his writing is an additional manuscript "Journey into Hell" based on his experience in the U.S. Nuclear testing program. Mr. Banker has also co-authored several books; one about technical writing and another, a fiction novel (based on his war-time experiences) written and published by a friend. Other writings have appeared in other publications. He was a licensed Baptist Minister and ordained Deacon. He had served churches as Sunday School Teacher, Bible Lecturer, Youth Director, Educational Director, and as an interim Pastor. He was involved in Children's Church Programs for many years. Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Mary Sue of Apopka; son Donald Banker (Lynchburg, Virginia) and daughters Deborah (Susan) Vandiviere (Lynchburg, Virginia), Melanie Fernandez (Apopka), Sandra Manon (Longwood), and Jennifer Johnson (Apopka). He had three grandchildren, Ashley Manon and Evan Manon, both of Longwood and Cooper Johnson of Apopka. He had one surviving brother, Edward Eugene (Savannah, Georgia) and one surviving sister, Rosemary Huff (Riverside, California). The memorial service will be held on Monday, June 17th at 10:30 a.m. at Powers Drive Baptist Church located at 3311 North Powers Drive, Orlando, Florida 32818. Viewing at the same location at 9:30 a.m. Share memories, condolences at www.woodlawnfuneralgotha.com.
Contributions in lieu of flowers may be made in his name to Hospice of the Comforter, 605 Montgomery Road, Altamonte Springs, Florida 32714.