Marilyn La Verne Williams Banks was born on September 5th, 1934, in Chicago, Illinois. Alexander Williams, Sr., and Elaine Williams were proud parents to her and her younger brother, Alexander Williams, Jr.
At the age of eight, Marilyn fell severely ill with spinal meningitis and polio. Marilyn spent many months in the hospital during which time her mother prayed for Marilyn’s miraculous recovery. God granted that prayer and healed Marilyn from those diseases. This experience led to a lifelong relationship with the Lord that was the most important in her life.
Marilyn accepted Jesus Christ as her savior early in her childhood. Among her many gifts, God blessed Marilyn with an exceptionally beautiful singing voice. As a young lady, Marilyn would travel with friends and family members to perform at churches, conventions, and campground meetings. Marilyn sang in church choirs, performed lead solos, and would engage in vocal performances at her home and other local churches. She sang with the Maceo Woods Singers-The Christian Tabernacle Concert Choir and James Cleveland Southern California Community Choir.
Marilyn attended elementary and middle schools in Chicago, Illinois before attending and graduating from Morgan Park High School, also in Chicago. During her high school years, Marilyn was active in the Morgan Park High School choir.
In 1953, Marilyn married Cleotis Maurice Banks. To this union were born six children: Elaine, Linda, a set of twins – ‘Ve Etta and 'Ve Letta, Cleotis Jr., and Alexander. In 1958, Marilyn and her family relocated to Pasadena, California where she and her family were dedicated members of Neighborhood Church of God in Pasadena, First Church of God in Los Angeles, later at Metropolitan Baptist Church in Altadena, California. During her time in Pasadena, the Lord continued to bless Marilyn as her family grew and prospered and Marilyn continued her education in the field of nursing. Marilyn later attended Jesus Is The Way Missionary Baptist Church where she was a devoted member at the time of her passing. She loved going to movies, eating out and spending time with her family. She especially cherished Mother’s Day holidays spent with her children, grand-children, and great-grandchildren who affectionately referred to her as “Mi Mi”.
Marilyn had firm convictions about her salvation and had a profound and serious dedication to God’s missionary evangelist calling over her life. Marilyn loved the Lord and would often speak at Church when called upon to do so. She also held several leadership positions in church missionary and women’s departments. She had a generous spirit and was known for often going out of her way to help individuals in need and those asking for help. Marilyn lived knowing, believing, and trusting that the Lord would supply her every need.
In addition to her many church activities, Marilyn was also active in civil rights advocacy supporting the work of Cesar Chavez Farmworkers Movement, the Welfare Rights Organization, and Head Start programs within her community, but most of all Marilyn was a lady.
Marilyn leaves to cherish her loving memory her brother, Alexander Williams, Jr., her children Elaine Johnson (Allan), Linda Banks, 'Ve Letta Banks, Cleotis Jr. Banks, and Alexander Banks. She also leaves to mourn her adoring grand-children Kenneth, Sherrie, Lee, Sherrelle, Mark, Shantelle, David, and Sabrina, 12 great grand-children, 4 great-great grandchildren and a host of extended family and friends. Marilyn is preceded in death by her daughter, Ve’ Etta Banks and her grandson Douglas Wilson Jr.
On January 13, 2021, Marilyn Williams Banks went on to glory to be with her savior. Her beautiful spirit will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.