John Phillip Bankhead ~ Class of 1973

John Bankhead ~ Class of 1973

Departed ~ 5/18/2020



John Phillip Bankhead
1955 ~ 2020

Our beloved Coach, Father, and Grandfather, John Phillip Bankhead passed away at his home in West Valley City on May 18, 2020. John was born April 8, 1955 in Tooele Utah to Harlan & Opal Bankhead. John spent most of his childhood years in Tooele and Vernon Utah before moving with his family to Bangkok Thailand in 1970. He attended and graduated from the International School of Bangkok.

Spending his high school years in Thailand really instilled a love for all aspects of travel in John, he frequently visited Thailand and made many lifelong friends there. Upon returning to the states John met and married Alma Kathryn Van Aacken and they raised their two beautiful daughter’s Jenifer and Melissa, whom he loved and adored.
John was an employee of Delta Airlines for 27 years, he retired from there in 2012. Besides being an amazing family man, jokester and animal lover, John loved to travel, was an avid scuba diver, always looked forward to motorcycle trips with friends, & watching his grandkids play sports.

John is survived by his mother Opal Bankhead, daughter Jenifer Bankhead, daughter Melissa Andrus (Shawn). Grandchildren, Taylor (Deisi), Cole, Kayden, Tucker (Taylor), Kaitlin, Claire. Great Grandchildren; Eliana, Genevieve, Leila. Siblings; Franklin (Dana), Christine (Lee), Kay (Tammie), Stephen (Dot), Mark (Leisa), Carol, Kathy, Laura (Rueben), and many other extended family and friends. Preceded in death by his father Harlan Bankhead, wife Alma Van Aacken, and sister Marie Bates.

Public viewing service will be held Friday May 22, 2020 from 6-8:00pm at the Valley View Mortuary in West Valley City, UT. Graveside services will follow on Saturday May 23, 2020 at 1:00pm at the Vernon, UT cemetery.

Barbara Johnson ’73 writes:


I just got off the phone with John’s daughter about an hour ago. Her sister came home this afternoon and found him in the backyard. Cause of death not known at this time. Deepest sympathies goes out to his two daughters, 5 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren, as well as his brothers, sisters and mother. It is a shock to everyone. John attended most of the class reunions and was looking forward to the reunion in Arizona. Will keep the network up to date as I hear from the family. 
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