Richard “Dick” Lee Bankston, 74, of Keysville, Virginia, passed peacefully at home on March 8, 2021.

Dick was born on May 17, 1946 to William and Margaret Bankston in Shelby, North Carolina. After graduating from Shelby High School in 1964, he went on to study education and coaching at Appalachian State University, graduating in 1968. In 1964, he met Susan Payne, and they wed in 1968, going on to have one son, Richard Bradley Bankston.

Dick was preceded in death by his father Bill and mother Peg. He is survived by his wife Susan, of 52 years, son Brad, daughter-in-law Beth Bankston and two grandsons Benjamin and Burke Bankston.

After graduation, Dick landed his first job as a teacher for Charlotte County Public Schools  (Va.) where he worked for 35 years until his retirement in 2003. During that time, he served as an administrator, coach, and physical education teacher at Randolph-Henry High School in Charlotte Court House, Va.

His coaching career was stellar leading Randolph Henry’s Statesmen to numerous district and regional baseball titles over 18 years at the helm. In addition to baseball, he coached football and served as the school’s Athletics Director until his retirement. He was honored in 2006 when the school system named its main high school athletic field complex after him. He was later inducted into the inaugural class of Randolph-Henry’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018.

There is no secret, outside of his family and faith, his first love was baseball and teaching the game to any and all who would listen. He used the game as a vehicle to influence many to love the game, grow and mature. He continued his baseball work with numerous camps and individual lessons taking any and all opportunities to give back to the game.  After retiring from the school system, Dick continued his work with the game helping coordinate the annual Baseball Bash which was held in Richmond, Va. He took great pride in coordinating the speakers associated with the event, planning the annual program which helped bring national baseball instruction to many coaches in the state and region.

He and his wife Susan moved to their beloved Boone, N.C., in 2003 for six years where both worked in retirement, managing a land development in the town of Todd, Tennessee. The pull of friends and Southside Virginia drew them back to Keysville, Va where they settled back into daily life in 2009.

Dick, a private man steeped in his faith, was a faithful member of Ash Camp Baptist Church where he served on the church’s deacon board for many years and regularly assisted with church initiatives and events.

Visitation will take place on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. Due to COVID protocols, family and friends are asked to pay their respects at Browning Funeral Home where the body will lie in state from 10am-5pm on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. The family will be accepting visitors outside at Browning Funeral Home from 4-5:30pm. There will be a drive-in church service around the circular drive of Ash Camp Baptist Church in Keysville, Va., at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 11, 2021.  A graveside service will be held on Friday afternoon at 2pm in the Cleveland Memorial Park in Shelby, N.C.

The family asks, in lieu of flowers, that memorial contributions be made to Ash Camp Baptist Church or the Dick Bankston Scholarship at Randolph-Henry High School, ℅ Robert Laine, PO Box 162, Charlotte Court House, Va., 23923. The Browning-Duffer Funeral Home in Keysville VA is serving the family.

Condolence Messages

  1. Susanne Williams

    09 March 2021 7 months ago

    So saddened by your loss. He was absolutely a great man. I truly appreciate all that he did for my family during our time of need. If there is anything at all I can do to help you, please reach out.

  2. Betty Crews

    09 March 2021 7 months ago

    Mrs. Bankston and family,
    I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of Coach Bankston. He will be missed by many. May God give you all peace and comfort at this time. You all will be in my thoughts and prayers.
    Former student of both Bankston’s
    Betty Crews

  3. Marilyn Todd

    10 March 2021 7 months ago

    What a wonderful, honorable and witty man Dickie was! My love to you Susan. God will give you all you need during this sorrowful trial in life. Let God hold you in His loving arms!

  4. Carolyn Jolly

    10 March 2021 7 months ago

    Tom and I send much love and sympathy
    Dick Bankston will always be remembered for his Christian influence on so many.
    Carolyn Jolly

  5. Tricia Mays

    10 March 2021 7 months ago

    Our family is so saddened by the loss of our dear friend. So many wonderful memories and laughs that we shared over the years. Our hearts go out to Susan, Brad, Beth, Benjamin and Burke. I know God will give you peace and comfort through this. Dick will be missed dearly by all of us and we will continue to reflect on all of our fond memories of him.

    Peace be with you,

    Tricia, Andy, Laurel and Callie Mays

  6. Augusta Carwile

    10 March 2021 7 months ago

    Susan, Henry and I want you to know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Dick was a true Christian friend. He was very active in our children’s sports, academic, and Christian lives growing up. He had a sense of humor that could relate to all of the students at RH. He will be greatly missed! We want to thank Dick and Susan both for their contributions to our church and community!
    ❤️ Henry & Augusta

  7. Margaret Elder

    10 March 2021 7 months ago

    While I am so saddened by Dick’s death, I also feel so blessed to have known and worked with him at Randolph-Henry for decades. He was such a humble, good person, respectful to all and a wonderful role model for many, many young people. His positive influence lives on and will continue to do so. My two children were among those who benefitted by their acquaintance with him, and I will be forever grateful. Susan and Brad, please know that you have been and will continue to be in my prayers. With love and heartfelt sympathy, Margaret Ann

  8. Mike Jones

    10 March 2021 7 months ago

    Coach was a great man to many and to me. I appreciate the person he is/was and his influences on whomever he encountered was always positive. He will be missed and I doubt there will ever be another like him.
    Thank you Coach and peace be with you and your family.
    Mike Jones

  9. Callie

    11 March 2021 7 months ago

    Coach Bankston was a good person. God bless his family

  10. Barbara G. Hamlet

    12 March 2021 7 months ago

    I was totally shocked when I just happened to see this. I started my teaching career at Randolph Henry one year after Dick did. He was so much help to me just starting out teaching P.E. and coaching girls’ basketball. We even rode together to Lynchburg College to take driver’s education. My thoughts and prayers are with all his family.

  11. Garland Hyde Hamlett

    12 March 2021 7 months ago

    “Coach” was a great coach and mentor. His first year at RHHS ,he was my JV football coach. He was one of the greatest baseball coaches I’ve ever known.

    He was a strong man of his faith and our football and baseball games always began with the team reciting the LORD’S Prayer. Not many coaches did that. Rarely did he loose his temper if we messed up. For that, you got 5 around the poles and don’t mis-count, because he had a watching eye.

    I could never say enough goods things about ‘Coach”. He will always be remembered and will be missed by his former student athletes.

    Butch Class of 72.

  12. Rodney Burton

    16 March 2021 6 months ago

    Mrs.Bankston,Brad and family.I am so sorry for your loss of Mr.Bankston.Praying that God will continue to be your strength in the days ahead.

    Rodney Burton
    Class of 1987

  13. Sherri Lee Cox

    07 April 2021 6 months ago

    To family of “Dickie” as I always knew him. We were sweethearts at SHS and he was a very special teenager. Dickie was always a gentleman, and he always loved God. I will miss just knowing he was “in the world”. He was a great catcher for Legion baseball, and obviously a stellar coach. His mom and dad would take us to Tony’s Ice Cream quite often. He is of “another place” now; heaven, as I hope all people will be. Prayers for all of you as you deal with this great loss.

  14. Betty Allen

    06 July 2021 3 months ago

    Extremely saddened to learn of the passing of my good friend, and best high school buddy, who was like a brother I never had, especially during our school days . Like Dickie, I loved sports, but unlike him, I never played on school teams, but from sixth grade on was almost always in the stands cheering on my favorite teams. We went to different colleges, but I tried to keep up with my good buddy, and was successful to an extent. He always held a special place in my heart, and I was honored to have met his wife Susan and their son Brad. Also, it pleased me greatly to hear of his coaching successes and the recognition he received, especially because I knew how much he loved the game of baseball. He was such a “good guy” always, a fine human being, and wonderful friend to me and many others. My heart aches, and I express my deepest condolences to Susan, Brad, and family, who knew him best, because I have no doubt there is a great hole in their hearts now that can never be filled, but also they are left with wonderful memories of a life well lived by a man who was greatly admired and respected by so many.

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