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Chester Walker Bankston, Jr.

Mr. Chester Walker Bankston, Jr. of Orlando and Edgewater, FL, passed away Wednesday, January 18th, at age 83.  He was born in Zebulon, GA, son of the late Chester Walker Bankston, Sr. and Ethel Milner Bankston. He was a veteran of the United States Navy, serving in the Seabees as part of the Naval Construction Forces, stationed in Barbados.  He graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Industrial Engineering. Mr. Bankston was a General Contractor, real estate developer, and the owner of C. W. Bankston Construction Co., Inc. in Orlando, Florida, a company that constructed innumerable commercial projects across Central Florida. Chester’s family has a storied history in both Zebulon and Orlando.  His father, C.W. Sr., founded Besco Products Company with Joel Edwards in Zebulon, GA.  The company canned fruits and vegetables and had canning plants in both communities.  Chester would regale family and friends with wonderful stories from his childhood and of both families moving between Orlando and Zebulon; including many chaotic, yet entertaining, car trips with a menagerie of animals, which included a pillow – eating goat.  Chester attended Hillcrest Elementary, Memorial Junior High, and graduated Orlando High School in 1951.   Growing up in Zebulon and Orlando, Chester developed a great love of the outdoors, and spent countless hours exploring with his brother, John, and cousins, Joe and Bill Edwards, whom he loved as brothers.  This resulted in many lifelong passions including, hunting, fishing, boating, and diving.  Chester enjoyed nothing more than traveling with family and friends to the Bahamas, The Florida Keys, The Florida Everglades, and other worldwide destinations.   Chester’s career in construction began in the early sixties, in which he partnered with Art Innanen, forming Innanen – Bankston Construction.  Chester and Art completed many  major projects, including high – rise buildings, in downtown Orlando and apartment complexes in the Orlando area. Eventually, Chester founded his own company and completed projects in the seventies and eighties for ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, Sheraton Hotels, Martin Marietta, in addition to other major projects in the greater Orlando area.    In addition to his extensive career accomplishments, Chester devoted support, time and resources to friends, family and various organizations, for which he will be greatly missed.  He was an active member of The South Orlando Kiwanis Club and also a member of the local Elks Club in Edgewater, FL   He is survived by his wife: Viola Gibson Bankston of Edgewater, FL;  brother: John Milner Bankston and wife Susan Fields Bankston of Vero Beach, FL and Scaly Mountain, NC; first wife: Alwilda Smith Bankston of Orlando, FL; daughter: Cynthia Lynn Bankston of Gainesville, FL; son: James Walker Bankston and wife Carolyn Ann Bankston; grandson: Alec Walker Bankston of Winter Park, FL;  step-children: Beth Gibson Lemke of Daytona Beach, FL, Teresa Gibson Kohout and husband Mark Daniel Kohout of Chesterfield, VA, and Wanda Rebecca Brooks of Waverly, VA; eight step-grandchildren; nieces:  Kim Bankston, Debbie Weeks, Melanie Gurley, their spouses and partner and five great nieces and great nephews; dear friend: Keflom Wolde.   Friends may visit the family on Saturday, January 21, 2-3 p.m., at Zebulon First Baptist Church, 15922 Concord St., Zebulon, GA 30295. Funeral services will follow at 3 p.m., at the church with Dr. Ed Hoard officiating. Burial will follow in the Eastview Cemetery in Zebulon.   In lieu of flowers donations may be made to The Alhzeimer’s Association at or Coastal Conservation Association at   Moody-Daniel Funeral Home in Zebulon is in charge of arrangements.

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