Jefferson - Thomas Charles “Tom” Wilbanks, 81, Jefferson, retired United States Navy veteran, a former personnel manager at Baker and Taylor Company, Commerce, and a longtime church and community leader in Jefferson, died Monday, January 3, 2011.
He had retired from the United States Navy as a master chief and had served during World War II. After his retirement, he served for several years as personnel manager with Baker and Taylor. Wilbanks was a member and deacon emeritus of the Jefferson First Baptist Church where he also had taught the Baraca Sunday School Class. He also was a longtime member of the Jefferson Lions Club. Mr. Wilbanks worked for some years as a part-time advertising representative for The Jackson Herald.
He was born November 10, 1929, in Oglethorpe County, son of the late Charles Isaac and Effie Cornelia Finch Wilbanks. His sisters, Patricia and Jackie, and his brother, Billy, also preceded him in death.
Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth Ann “Betty” Hardy Wilbanks; son and daughter-in-law, Damon and Janice Wilbanks, Jefferson; daughter and son-in-law, Kelli and Jeff Potts, Jefferson; grandchildren, Shawn and Casey McNally, Tyler and Carla Truelove, Kyle and Chelsey Potts and Kory Potts; great-grandchildren, Kade McNally, Gracie and Ty Truelove; sister-in-law, Cathryn Wilbanks Phillips, Jefferson.
Funeral services will be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday, January 5, at the Jefferson First Baptist Church with Cary Hilliard officiating. Burial will follow in Woodbine Cemetery. The visitation will be Tuesday, January 4, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the funeral home.
Pallbearers will be: Doug Thurmond, Phil Thurmond, Fred Gurley, Ryan Gurley, Steven Hix and Keith Ariail. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Baraca Sunday School class.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church of Jefferson, P.O. Box 395, Jefferson 30549 or the American Cancer Society, 1684 Barnett Shoals Rd., Athens, GA 30605.
Evans Funeral Home, Jefferson, is in charge of arrangements.