Affectionately known as “OB,” Olivia Banks, who was a retired Chicago Public School educator, died Saturday, January 20, 2018. She was 76 years old.
As a working professional, Olivia began her career at the Chicago Board of Education, where she served in numerous capacities for forty years; she retired from her position as an educator and guidance counselor in 2009.
A founding consumer board member of Access Community Health Network (ACCESS) since 1992, she was dedicated to ACCESS’ mission and always ensured that the Board and administration kept true to the voice and needs of ACCESS’ patients. The entire ACCESS organization and Board of Directors will always remember her passion, warm smile and deep commitment to the area’s most vulnerable residents.
Services scheduled for Olivia Banks will begin with Visitation at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, January 26, 2018 at Leak & Sons Funeral Homes, 7838 S. Cottage Grove Ave. in Chicago. The Wake and Funeral are on Saturday, January 27, 2018 at Apostolic Pentecostal Church of Morgan Park, 11401 S. Vincennes in Chicago at 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., respectively.
Olivia was born on December 26, 1941 in Senatobia, Mississippi, to Josephine and Lucius Brooks, Sr. She was the eldest of six maternal siblings. In addition, she had four paternal siblings. Olivia’s outgoing nature and genuine spirit was the light of their lives. She was preceded in death by her parents: Josephine and Lucius Brooks, Sr.; stepfather, Reverend Columbus Morris; two maternal siblings, Lucius, Jr. and Patricia Lynn; and two paternal siblings, Emma and Benie Seldon.
Olivia met Monroe Banks in the spring of 1961, and they were joined in holy matrimony on July 28, 1962. To this union two beautiful daughters were born – Monica and Marlo.
Olivia was a dedicated mother, grandmother, sister, cousin, and friend. Her love knew no boundaries, and her adventurous, social, and selfless nature made her truly loved by many. Living a life for God was the cornerstone of her life. She was baptized at New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church, under the leadership of the late Pastor Lloyd Johnson. She continued to receive spiritual guidance at Greater Sea Missionary Baptist church, where Reverend Columbus Morris was the founding pastor. Olivia remained a member of Anointed Vessels Ministries under the leadership of Bishop Timothy B. Pleasant. In recent years, she joined the Salem Missionary Baptist Church. The senior pastor is Reverend James T. Meeks. She proudly served as a member of the Alter Guild and Pastoral Care. In both capacities she attended numerous events and homegoing services for fellow believers.
Olivia attended William Cullen Bryant Elementary School. She continued her secondary education at Lucy Flower High School, currently renamed Al Raby, on the far west side of Chicago. She pursued and completed her postsecondary educational studies at Crane Junior College, currently known as Malcolm X College––receiving two certificates in Child Development. Olivia was very passionate about youth and serving her community. She was a giver to all, and loved by many. More importantly, she never gave a second thought to assisting others, or sharing available resources with the many people who crossed her path.
Olivia leaves to cherish her devoted husband, Monroe; daughter, Monica; special sons, Steven Ellerson, Sr. and Marlo (Ricardo); grandchildren, Alishia (Terry, Sr.), Steven Jr. (Kayla), and Amari; great-grandchildren, Terry Jr., Tahmir and Steven, III. As a result of marital unions, she inherited four additional granddaughters, Tai, Sheena, Toy and Stephanie; one grandson, Devonta and eleven more great-grandchildren; maternal sisters, Vera, Johnace, Yolanda and a paternal sister, Jannie; maternal brother, Billy (Gwendolyn), and paternal brother, Hiram; sisters-in-law, Barbara, Rosemary, and Audrey; brothers-in-law, Eugene, William (Audrey), Daniel, and Patrick; and a host of family members and friends.
Olivia had the privilege of extending her love to a special son/nephew: LaShaun Brooks; sister, Twanna Walton and daughter, Khari King; goddaughters: Jackie Carlisle, Temeka Magett, Angela Hampton; godsons: Reverend Paul Jakes, Rhomel Owens, Sylvester Mackey, Quashae Pleasant, and Andre Battle; Dr. Jason Primer; Dr. David Maclin; and special colleagues: Dr. Jan Fitzsimmons, ACCESS CEO Donna Thompson and Michael Holman.