Cover photo for John William Banks, II's Obituary
John William Banks, II Profile Photo
1940 John 2023

John William Banks, II

August 17, 1940 — July 15, 2023

Bruceville, Texas

John W. Banks II, of Lorena, passed away peacefully on July 15, 2023 at his home surrounded by his loved ones. A graveside funeral service will be held at 10 AM, Tuesday, July 18, 2023 at Lorena Cemetery.

John was born August 17, 1940 in Fort Worth, TX to John W. Banks and June Banks. From an early age, he displayed an interest in the care of exotic animals. This interest led him to work as a zookeeper in several zoos throughout Texas including the Fort Worth Zoo and Houston Zoo. He especially enjoyed working with reptiles and attended numerous American Zoological Association conferences across the United States which resulted in numerous lifelong friendships.  During his time at the Houston Zoo, he met Jo Ann Gore and they married in a Christmas ceremony in Olean, NY on December 27, 1967.

John continued to work with exotic animals throughout his life and even traveled with Jo Ann to locales as far away as New Guinea to collect specimens. He maintained an animal compound in Lorena, TX which housed various species such as Galapagos tortoises, wallabies, marmosets, pythons, antelopes and emus. After his career in animal sales, he lived a peaceful life as a loving husband and father. Despite his longtime interest in exotic animals, John was especially adored by multiple family dogs. He could frequently be found enjoying the wildlife present in his backyard and watching classic Western TV series. He will always be remembered for his practical jokes, his devotion to his family, and colorful stories from his days working in “the reptile house”.

He is survived by his wife, Jo Ann; his son, Will; his brothers, Victor, Rix, and Howard; and numerous cousins, nephews, and nieces.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the Waco Baha’i Center. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Nature Conservancy.

To send flowers to the family in memory of John William Banks, II, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Lorena Cemetery

, Lorena, TX 76630

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