Michael Edward Banks, of Berlin, formerly of Milwaukee died peacefully surrounded by love on November 27, 2015. He achieved living to his 94th birthday and a day, so there. He resided at Patriot Place of Berlin for four and a half years, where he was loved well and cared for. Mike “enriched” and brought joy and spirit to his friends, fellow residents, and staff.
Mike was born in Milwaukee on November 26, 1921, the son of Michael Edward and Dorothy (Farrell) Banks. He grew up and was educated in Milwaukee, graduating from Boy’s Technical High School. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in February of 1942. Mike served in the 3rd Battalion of the Marine Corps Raiders, the elite special operation arm of the Marine Corps in the Pacific Theater. He held the rank of sergeant and patrol leader on campaigns: Bougainville, BSI, participated in consolidation of Northern Solomons, occupation and defense of Emirau Island, occupation of Guam, M.I., and lastly serving on Okinawa where he received his last injury, which sent him back to the States. In all receiving three Purple Hearts. Meanwhile, his childhood sweetheart Georgina who also enlisted in the Corps was stationed in Arlington, VA.
After the war ended, they returned to Milwaukee. They were married on May 25, 1946 at the Cathedral of Saint John. They were blessed with three children. Mike and Georgie shared 62 years together until her death on March 2, 2009.
Mike worked at the American Motors “Nash” plant, while going to night school to hone his talent of technical drawing. He entered his field working for George J. Meyer, in Cudahy, until it was sold. Then he entered the family at Milwaukee Electric Tool. He was responsible for drawing detailed exploded views of the tools. He loved the people he worked with and enriched the office with his sharp dry humor and talent. He retired in 1984.
Retirement gave him time to become active in the U.S. Marine Raider Assn., and helping some of his fellow Raiders with books, history, and official roster of the Raiders. Mike and Georgie were active in many ministries of the Cathedral, and did some traveling. In 2001 they moved to Berlin. And became members of All Saints Catholic community of Berlin
Survivors include; his three children; daughter, Cynthia “Cindy” (John) Skipchak, of Berlin, along with their children; Jason Skipchak, of St. Louis, Kristin (Mike) Hasslinger, of Milwaukee, and Robin Skipchak, of Berlin, son, Timothy “Tim” Banks, (special friend Nicole Bissell) of Franklin, his son Max Banks, of Franklin, daughter, Michele (Mike) Knapp, of Sussex, their sons, Alex, Elliott, and Evan, of Sussex, one sister in law, Helen Wind, of West Allis, his Berlin family, the Malchetskes, Bob, Beth , Patrick and especially Tom the “gift I got from God” quote. Also other relatives and scores of old dear friends.
He was preceded in death by; wife, Georgie, his parents, one sister, Dorothy, special nephew Ron Wind, brothers in law, Florian Wind, James Cronin, and Frank and Fran Malchetske.
Funeral services, with a Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, December 12, 2015, at All Saints Catholic Church of Berlin, at 10:30 a.m., with the Rev. David Greenfield officiating. Burial will follow at Saint Stanislaus Cemetery, of Berlin with complete military honors.
Family and friends may call at the Wiecki-Skipchak Funeral Home of Berlin, on Friday, December 11, 2015, from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m., also on Saturday morning from 9:00 a.m. until we leave for church. A parish rosary will be recited at 7:45 pm. Friday evening.
The staff of Patriot Place and Agnesian Hospice Hope will always be treasured by us for their love, joy, humor, grit, and comfort they brought Mike and our family during this last chapter of his life here.
Mike was an amazing, strong, gentle, sharp witted man, who touched the hearts of many. Semper Fi, go light up heaven dad.
Wiecki-Skipchak Funeral Home