IOWA ASSOCIATION OF THE DEAF, INC.
"Concerned with the General Welfare of the Deaf of Iowa"

Updated  April 15, 2021

Vernon Dean Banks

August 3, 1942—March 17, 2021 

Vernon Dean Banks , the son of Melvin Lloyd Banks and Gladys Marie (North) Banks-Schmeling was born on August 3, 1942 in Storm Lake, Iowa. Vernon’s hearing was lost when he was a toddler after he contracted spinal meningitis. His childhood years were spent at the Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs, IA, where Vernon learned many life skills which would be used throughout his whole life.

     On June 17, 1967, Vernon was united in marriage to Virginia Sue Swenson. They were blessed with three children: Scott, Jason and Jody. Helping his boys make Pinewood Derby cars for Boy Scouts and a huge doll house for Jody were just a couple of things that gave him great joy. Vernon also drew and painted life-size cartoon characters for the kids on a wall in their basement, a fond memory for them. Vernon worked at Iowa Hydraulics in Pocahontas.

     Working with his hands in carpentry, woodworking and upholstery were things Vernon really enjoyed. He made countless “I Love You” sign language banks and wishing wells for many and loved to give them as gifts. He also had many hobbies which include bowling in his younger years, camping, fishing, drawing plans, pictures and cartoon characters, watching wrestling and throwing darts. He was what some would call a “Jack of all Trades”. Vernon thoroughly enjoyed times spent with family and will be remembered for his signature Good-Bye Wave of  “I Love You” in sign language.

     Left to cherish his memory are his children: Scott (Carol) Banks of Spencer, IA, Jason Banks of Adel, IA and Jody Cochran of Dallas Center, IA; 6 Grandchildren; 2 Great-Grandchildren; Brother, George (Colette) of North Carolina, Sister, Joan Condon of Nebraska, Brother, Mike Banks of Iowa and Brother, Bobby Banks of Arizona; many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

     Vernon passed away on March 17, 2021 at his home in Spencer at the age of 78.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Melvin Banks and Gladys (North) Banks-Schmeling; Step-Dad, Bill Schmeling; Wife, Virginia (Swenson); siblings: Ronnie and Carol Banks, Gary and Mary Banks, Bill Miller, Dennis Condon and special longtime friend, Wilma Tiernan.

Warner Funeral Home, Spencer, Iowa handles  Vernon’s funeral aarrangements.